Justin Paperny

Author of "Lessons from Prison" and "Ethics in Motion"

Delivering Comprehensive Compliance and Ethics Training Programs and Presentations

Justin provides audiences with insight into the motivations, actions, and consequences of white collar crime

Rather than speaking theoretically, he draws upon personal experiences to narrate with honesty and eloquence how an inattention to values based decision making can lead an individual down the path to white collar crime, and ultimately imprisonment.

He is the author of Lessons From Prison and Ethics in Motion. Justin has been a keynote speaker to academic and business audiences across the nation.

Justin’s programs are approved for CE, including firm element.

  • Lessons from Prison
  • Ethics in Motion
  • Impact of a Role Model
  • Value-Centered Decisions
  • Pressures of Performance

 “Justin’s “Lessons From Prison” presentation was a sobering example of how the smallest ethical missteps can have devastating consequences.  Justin’s story was a perfect fit for the annual Firm Element Training program for our financial advisors.”

– Briana Hughes, Director of Compliance Examinations & Inquiries, Securities America, Inc.


“Justin spoke to a conference with our top 50 finance leaders from around the world.  His story was unique and pointed out the short-term and long-term realities of crossing the ethical line and emphasized the importance of doing the right thing.  This session more than any other in our conference sparked a great deal of discussion and reflection which each of our leaders benefitted from.”

– Dan Doheny, CFO, Reyes Holdings


“Your presentation on “Denial and the White-Collar Offender” was excellent and received many favorable comments. The dedication and commitment you bring to your work was clearly demonstrated. We look forward to having you participate in more enrichment nights at the FBI Academy.”

– Eric McCraw, Acting Unit ChiefThornton, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Justin’s Client List Includes…

  • ACFE-Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • FBI
  • Gartner
  • Grant Thorton
  • IMCA – Investment Mgmt. Consultants Assoc.
  • KPMG
  • The Institute of Internal Auditors
  • Morgan Stanley
  • National Credit Union Administration
  • New York University & the University of Southern California
  • Reyes Holdings
  • Wells Fargo
Travels From:  California
City: Southern
$5,001 to $10,000


Keynote speaker Justin Paperny is a former investment executive who now uses his talents and experiences to educate others on ethics and the perils associated with white-collar crime.

He is the author of Lessons From Prison and Ethics in Motion. Justin has been a keynote speaker to academic and business audiences across the nation. Additionally, since his release from prison in August 2009, Justin has helped more than 100 white collar defendants thrive through the criminal justice system. His story and presentations have been featured by ABC News, NBC News, Forbes, and Radio America, amongst many others. And in late 2014, NBC Universal in conjunction with The Esquire Network will air a 60-minute documentary on Justin’s story.

After graduating from the University of Southern California, Justin began building his career at such storied firms as Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, and UBS. Justin managed more than $150 million in investor assets as a top-earning stockbroker, but personal pressures clouded his judgment. That ethical lapse ensnared him in a fraud. He pleaded guilty to violating securities laws and served an 18-month sentence at Taft Federal Prison Camp.

As a speaker, Justin provides audiences with insight into the motivations, actions, and consequences of white-collar crime. Rather than speaking theoretically, he draws upon personal experiences to narrate with honesty and eloquence how an inattention to values-based decision-making can lead an individual into debacles that may include imprisonment. As a consultant, Justin has successfully worked with hundreds of defendants to help them better prepare for the life altering experience of prison, and the steps they must take to overcome the myriad obstacles that accompany a criminal conviction.


In this presentation, Justin walks the audience through his journey as a federal prisoner. He explains how making decisions from a supposed ethical gray area can lead to financial devastation, loss of reputation, separation from family and community. It will debunk misperceptions about country club prisons by discussing what he learned from others and his own experiences.

Your advisors will discover…

  • How 1 decision can influence the rest of your life
  • To do anything well requires continual practice
  • The slippery slope of bad decision-making

In this presentation, Justin describes the government’s efforts to prosecute white-collar crimes.  Despite the heavy penalties executives and employers face when the government brings criminal charges, too few understand how their actions can lead to imprisonment or seven-figure costs. Drawing from his own experiences, and from the experiences of other white-collar offenders, Justin explains the consequences that follow an inattention to ethics. He also describes how easily an indiscriminate telephone call, text or email can lead to an implosion of career and family life.

Your advisors will discover…

  • How to talk so your clients will listen…and how to listen so your clients will talk
  • How 1 indiscriminate favor for a client can change your life forever
  • Short-term gain versus long-term loss
  • The importance of saying ‘NO’

Without  a role model to help guide him, Justin easily crossed the line from unethical to illegal behavior. As a student-athlete, he had the privilege of learning from coaches who also acted as role models. Indeed, Justin was held accountable if he deviated from the stated principles of the team. In the brokerage business, however, the pressure to perform, coupled with lax oversight from management washed away the values he learned as an athlete. This speech highlights the importance of mentoring young people within an organization.

As a former financial professional, Justin learned the hard way that an abandonment of a personal ethical code can lead to serious career troubles, possible legal complications, and in some cases, imprisonment. By establishing a personal ethical code, and ensuring that all personal and business decisions comply with that code, individuals can lead more fulfilling lives. In this speech, Justin describes his past, what he has learned by listening to other white-collar offenders, and the ethical code that now guides all of his decisions.

Bottom-line thinking, together with the pressure to perform frequently contradicts the primary mission of the company. Too often companies make decisions based on the expectations of Wall Street. These pressures are not only put on the CEO and other high ranking executives, but are passed down to middle management who must perform their assigned tasks to meet those goals. In this speech Justin emphasizes the importance of management’s role in addressing pressures put on all employees in order to assure ethical business practices.

Areas of expertise

  • Ethics
  • Business Ethics & Compliance Training
  • White-Collar Crime
  • Pressures of Performance
  • Corporate Culture
  • Impact of a Role Model
  • Value-Centered Decisions
  • Leadership Training
© 2021 Ro Morrison & Assoc.