Prosecutors are certain to become more aggressive in bringing indictments that will lead more business professionals into the jaws of the criminal justice system. The Department of Justice announced the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. Its purpose is to establish “an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.” A new website known as StopFraud.gov provides some historical context for this new task force. It’s certain to give many business people a bad day.
President Obama established the task force in 2009 in response to great financial meltdown. Law enforcement officials from more than 20 federal agencies and 94 US Attorneys Offices are working together to bring more people into the jaws of the criminal justice system. Anyone who faces charges for fraud will certainly work with defense attorneys to learn about the best possible response to the charges. Yet at Prison Professor, we’re convinced that defendants should also educate themselves on matters that will follow a criminal conviction.
The more a defendant educates himself on ancillary consequences that follow a criminal indictment, the better that defendant prepares himself for making informed decisions.
During the quarter century I served in federal prisons of every security level, I interviewed and learned from business owners who faced charges of every type of white-collar crime. They regretted that they didn’t invest more time to learn more about what would follow a prosecution.
For example, Dan, a told me that prosecutors had extended an offer for him to plead guilty to charges of violating tax laws in exchange for an 18-month sentence. Yet Dan couldn’t comprehend the possibility of serving time in prison. He instructed his lawyers to fight the charges, regardless of cost.
Dan later attributed that decision to his losing a $10 million estate, his family, and his liberty for 17 years. Further, decisions he made resulted in Dan serving the sentence in a volatile federal prisons rather than a minimum-security federal prison camp. If he had known more about how the system operated, he told me that he would worked more closely with his attorneys to negotiate a favorable plea.
When an individual faces criminal charges for fraud, he should prepare. Good preparations begin with education. If an individual doesn’t understand the federal system, the individual relinquishes the ability to make informed decisions. I launched PrisonProfessor.com to serve as a resource for both criminal defendants and for defense attorneys. When it comes to understanding the federal prison system, no one has a greater depth and breadth of experience. At Prison Professor, we offer products and services that empower defendants. Through our lesson plans, our webinars, and our consulting, we help defendants restore strength and confidence, setting them on a deliberate path to a better life.