Case Study

Joe Erickson: From 60 Months to Probation


Reduction in Sentence


Years Probation

Acknowledged for Exceptional Character Letters

I remember the day I saw the business card from an FBI Agent with the handwritten words, “Call me.” That was in 2018, and I knew immediately that I would have to answer for my bad decisions. To cover up a failing venture, I had submitted false invoices to a client, abusing their trust to solve some short-term liquidity problems. When authorities wanted to speak with me, I felt completely out of sorts.

My attorney initially told me that I could be facing up to 20 years in prison for mail and wire fraud. He explained that if I chose to plead guilty and cooperate, we could likely negotiate a plea agreement that would lead to a five-year sentence. Hearing this was devastating, and I realized I needed to take action.

I began doing my research and found White Collar Advice through their videos on Google and YouTube. Without even talking to anyone, I purchased their digital course to prepare for sentencing. I read through the templates and watched the associated videos. Then, I picked up the phone and called Justin Paperny.

Rather than absolving myself of all responsibility, I took it upon myself to learn the steps necessary to prepare for sentencing. By working with Justin’s team to create my life story, I was better equipped to advocate for myself in front of my lawyer, probation officer, and judge. I invested time every day to learn and improve.

The White Collar Advice team helped me create a compelling personal narrative that highlighted my understanding of the crime, the damage I had caused, and how others in the community perceived my character. They also guided my friends and family in writing character reference letters. My attorney, initially skeptical about the impact of these narratives, was impressed with the final product.

On the day of my sentencing, the U.S. Attorney asked for a 30-month sentence. After listening to my defense attorney and me, the judge told me how much he appreciated the personal package I had submitted. He said it gave him a much better perspective on who I was as a person and stated that my character reference letters were among the best and most sincere he had ever read. Because of those letters and everything I had done since being investigated, the judge gave me five years probation.

Immediately after the hearing, I sent a text message to Justin:



All praise to God. They gave me probation. The US Attorney was asking the judge for 30 months. The judge stated in court he wished he had friends like mine. He said he has read thousands of letters and nine were the best and most sincere he has ever read. Because of those letters and everything I have done since being investigated, the Judge gave me 5 years probation.

My family and I are unbelievably thankful. I’m still being processed but maybe we can talk this week.


I am incredibly grateful for the support and guidance I received from White Collar Advice. Their expertise and encouragement not only helped me avoid a lengthy prison sentence but also allowed me to rebuild my life with integrity. I learned the importance of taking responsibility and preparing thoroughly, and I hope my story can help others facing similar challenges.