Lawrence Hartman 

My name is Lawrence Hartman, and I’d like to introduce myself to visitors of our websites at Prison Professors and Compliance Mitigation.

I was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. I graduated with high marks from the State University of New York at Albany, in 1987. While there, I earned my place as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. During my undergraduate years, I majored in Sociology and minored in Political Science and History.

Lawrence Hartman discussing extradition from Costa Rica


Following college, I went on to pursue a law degree at Columbia University School of Law. While there, I served as an editor for the Columbia Business Law Review, graduating in 1990.

After passing the bar exam, I devoted my practice to real estate, securities, and corporate law at the prestigious Wall Street law firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. Later, the internationally focused law firm, Coudert Brothers recruited me to join their offices in midtown Manhattan.

In my role as a corporate lawyer, I worked on numerous significant transactions for both multi-national corporations and midsize companies. That work led to my writing two professional articles for publication in the peer-reviewed, Real Estate Finance Review.     

After six years of working in big-law, I left to accept a position as General Counsel, Vice President, and corporate Secretary of Tarragon Realty Advisors. We were a publicly traded real estate investment trust. In that role, I supervised outside law firms in the preparation and filing of all federal securities filings (10Qs, 10Ks, 8Ks, etc.) and directly structured several hundred million dollars in acquisitions, sales and financings.


In 1998, I founded an Internet startup venture to publish user-generated video content. Yet as a result of low bandwidth during those early Internet days, the venture failed. We were too early to the market, as evidenced by YouTube’s success after the spread of broadband. After that startup venture fizzled, I transitioned to Costa Rica. In the year 2000, I started to pursue opportunities in the online gambling space. Between 2000 and 2004, I launched new ventures, bringing an online casino and an online poker website public, and I consulted for several online sportsbook ventures, generating millions of dollars in earnings in the process.

In 2004, I co-founded Global Resource Advisors with partners from Spain and the United Kingdom. We capitalized on expertise I had developed by financing start-up companies and taking those companies public on US stock exchanges.

Together, we formed a pipeline for creating blank-check companies, now commonly referred to as a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations (SPAC).  Since then, several companies such as Draft Kings, Nikola, and Virgin Galactic, have gone public using a SPAC. 

As a result of my work in Central America and Europe, I developed expertise with international banking and asset protection laws. I formed several companies using a Safe Harbor rule under the US Securities Laws as Regulation S, enabling companies to raise money from non-US investors without any need for registration, since they did not raise capital from US investors. 


Despite precautions, my work got ensnared in a government investigation, which later led to a massive 36-count indictment, negative public press in the United States, and a week’s worth of coverage as the lead news story throughout Central America.

The amount of money involved exposed me to a horrifically long sentence. Not being able to stomach the potential downside, I pled guilty capping my sentence at 10 years.

Not understanding the system, I believed the sentence had ended a useful life. Later, I learned that with a positive mindset, I could recalibrate and begin anew. I began working in the prison law libraries, helping fellow inmates with litigation matters. Further, I participated in a substance abuse treatment program, and found the power of sobriety. While in prison, I wrote and edited an addiction-related magazine called InRecovery, and I published a charitable book that I titled 101 Tips for Staying Clean & Sober.

These lessons demonstrate that although a person may go through tough times, good decisions can help a person lead a life of meaning, relevance, and dignity.

While in prison, I found a passion for life advocating for other people. By going through the process, I learned a great deal. I shared as much information as possible and I wrote other books, including Guilty Till Proven Innocent and The Happiness Principle: Your Guide to a Happier Life.

After concluding my journey through the prison system, I began working with the team at Prison Professors and Compliance Mitigation. By brainstorming with Michael Santos, we worked to create training systems from a different perspective. Rather than writing theoretically, we collaborated to create a curriculum that we believed would bring value to business leaders.

Based on the number of people who went to prison for white-collar crimes, we saw a real need for compliance programs that would serve small to mid-size companies. The curriculum and ongoing training systems we create would lead to lower risk levels, helping to both save and make business owners money, and help them better position to protect themselves from civil and criminal liability.

Our teams at both Prison Professors and Compliance Mitigation offer a unique service to a variety of people.

  • We help people understand and manage their affairs and businesses in ways to avoid government investigations;
  • We help people work toward the best outcomes if they’ve become embroiled in a government investigation.

In essence, we offer risk-mitigation strategies people and businesses can use before legal jeopardy attaches.

Although I’m no longer a practicing lawyer, I’m happy to continue offering guidance that others can use to their benefit. The guidance our team provides comes from a different perspective. We’ve learned from people that struggled through government investigations and suffered the aftermath. We help our clients understand the pitfalls and the costs that follow for those who make bad decisions during the course of business.

At Prison Professors and Compliance Mitigation, we operate by the motto:

  • “We did the time, so you don’t have to.” 

We look forward to helping with your training, risk-reduction, and mitigation needs.