Joe Bruno on the Mob – The Newest Scam – Prison Consultants


Where there’s a way to make a buck, nothing is sacred. Especially when it comes to career criminals.

The latest “scam” to hit the streets is the profession of “Prison Consultants.” White collar criminals are the most vulnerable to this ruse, since they were most likely never tough guys in the first place. They probably embezzled a few bucks from their boss, or did a little insider trading in the stock market. No heavy lifting, so to speak.

After being convicted, this type of criminal is terrified of how they will survive in prison, living in tight quarters with guys resembling the cast of “Oz,” or maybe even “Prison Break.”

The first thing these “Prison Consultants,” who are ex-cons themselves (no kidding), tell their clients is that if you want to have your sentence cut back you have to:

1.Become a rat against your fellow prisoners, or
2.Tell the Warden you are a junkie and need to be admitted into the Residential Drug Abuse Program.

First of all, becoming a rat in prison is not the smartest thing in the world to do. If word gets out you’re an informant, and believe me, the walls have ears in prisons, the white collar criminal/informer could get a shiv in his heart, or maybe have his food poisoned. Or maybe both at the same time.

Secondly, if you go into drug rehab in prison, that goes on your permanent record, and when you do get out of jail, besides being an ex-con, you’ll have strike two on your job resume as a rehabilitating ex-con/junkie. Do you think someone wants to hire an ex-con who might go out on a babania binge one day, and steal the whole store?

The cost of consultation with a “Prison Consult” is the biggest con (pardon the pun) of all: $2000-$5000. Truthfully, the information a “Prison Consultant” will give you most likely will hurt you, rather than help you in the long run.

This entire issue of “Prison Consultants” give much credence to the old street axiom, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

The article below appeared on Forbes Online.

Walter Pavlo

A Booming Part of Economy – Prison Consulting
Aug. 4 2011

In New York, US Attorney Preet Bharara is just getting started on cracking down on white-collar crime, particularly insider trading. With all these folks heading to prison, there is a niche market that is growing in the midst of this stagnant economy….Prison Consulting.

Prison consulting is not new but it is growing. According to an article earlier this year by the Chicago Tribune’s Lisa Black, the dominant players in the field are convicted felons who are passing on their lesson’s learned from their experience in prison. Convicted felons on their way to prison often have questions ranging from the most obvious, “Where is the closest prison?” to “How will I survive?” Someone with first hand experience in this area is worthwhile.

I did my own research and found that the biggest selling point for these consulting services deals with ways to get out of prison sooner….not a bad pitch. At the risk of ruining the business model of many of those consultants out there, I will give away two ways of reducing ones sentence in federal prison, 1) Testify against somebody else, and 2) get into the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP).

Throwing your co-conspirator under the bus in a white-collar crime is more acceptable than doing so in a drug crime. You might not get back into the country club but at least you won’t be gunned down in a drive-by.

Have you noticed more white-collar felons stating that they have drug problems prior to sentencing? Barry Minkow (ZZZ Best and now Insider Trader) said he needed help for his addiction to pain pills while Noah Freeman (Formerly of SAC Capital and now Insider Trader) had a marijuana and mushroom habit. Believe it or not, this looks good on a pre-sentencing report when the government is thinking of the best ways to rehabilitate a person. Chances are, these guys will get the RDAP program and also qualify for an 18-month reduction (12 months early out of prison and 6 months in halfway house) from their sentence. The RDAP program has increased its annual output of participants by 22% over the past 10 years according the Bureau of Prisons annual report for 2010…they can probably thank these prison consultants for sending business their way.

However, the RDAP approach to lowering ones prison sentence is not without its pitfalls. Lawyers I have spoken to caution that clients should not rely on prison consultants for legal advice. Participation in a drug class, even one in prison, could affect things in ones personal life post prison, like child custody, ability to get employment in certain professions, higher cost or eligibility for life or health insurance. The prison time off is nice, but there are other considerations to be made prior to telling the judge, “I’m a drug addict!”

But the other reason people reach out to consultants is for piece of mind. Prison is survivable but heading into it is quite frightening. Speaking to someone who has been there before is worth the money, if you have it. It can be expensive for a one-on-one consultation, which can cost $2,000-$5,000. That personal approach is better than reading information on-line about prison or talking to someone who “knew someone” who went to prison.

Here are a few that I found out there:

Federal Prison Consulting Group

Federal Prison Alternatives

Federal Prison Consultants

Dr. Prison

American Prison Consultants

Larry Levine, a convicted felon who is now in the consulting business, even took advantage of the crime wave on Wall Street to lay claim to a new domain name to pitch his services, I bet he gets some hits on that site these days.


8 Responses to “Joe Bruno on the Mob – The Newest Scam – Prison Consultants”

  1. That’s funny you posted this blog.

    I just saw a website RDAP Law Consultants ( and they promise me to get me into rdap with 18 months off or they’ll refund my money. Has anyone used them? They are expensive!

    I’ll be doing 48 months in FCI Ashland and want to know if this works! If it does, I’ll be down to 30 months. Thank you.

  2. Call me and I’ll give you advise for nothing.

    Larry Levine
    Wall Street and American Prison Consultants


  3. Is there a way to reduce white collar crime sentence?

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