Category Archives: Barry Bonds

The week of liars…Lance Armstrong and Brian Williams!!! YOU HAD TO BIG SHOTS…

Seems to be the American way- deny, deny, deny. In a week that has seen the scandals of two HUGE names- Lance Armstrong and TV Newsman Brian Williams- one has to wonder what makes people who seem to have it all- LIE.

But what I wonder is why is this a surprise? More interesting to be me as somebody who is a legal coach and crisis manager– why is this all so shocking???

The fact is that most people lie about something, sometime in their life. SO why are these two bringing out such outrage? To me the answer is simple. Something I work with everyday with people from all walks of life. It boils down to two things. The cover up and the MOTIVE.

Really most people do not set out to commit crimes, lie or deceive. This might sound strange, as many people I work with, including myself, have committed white-collar crimes. Shockingly even these are not really about greed usually, but about grandiosity, power orientation and often a small lie that builds. As they say- the cover up is worse than the crime.

Same is true with Lance Armstrong and Brian Williams. Yet I think the motives are very different. But the outcomes will be the same- FAMOUS becoming INFAMOUS. The question is will either see forgiveness and redemption?

I say with Brian Williams if he and NBC get a grip on the scandal fast the answer is YES. And with Lance Armstrong NO CHANCE- the nine lives are over with the lie about his stop for DUI and asking his girlfriend to well- LIE and say she was driving. That is the mark of a true Sociopath. But that is nothing new for Armstrong who seems to be addicted to lies, Scandals and bringing others down. Amazingly he has escaped prosecution up to NOW- unlike Barry Bonds who was convicted in the BALCO steroid scandal in major league Baseball.

In fact, Lance Armstrong is one of those who fits the word INCARCERVENTION– he is in need of one as the years of illegal activity, betrayal and lies are finally catching up with him. As anybody who has watched the documentary about Armstrong knows, he is one cocky and selfish dude. He even seems to have manipulated his work for cancer research to justify his illegal and immoral behavior.

For Brian Williams the lies about being shot down while covering wars, Katrina and more have escalated to a remarkable level. Why did he lie in the first place? Probably good stories that he never expected to repeat and once he did since it was a lie, the story changed! SURPRISE!!!! That is what happens with lies. For Williams the real issue is his apology. I must say the apology was a glimpse into the world I work in. A person with such an ego, so out of touch and so manipulative that he felt saying he had made “mistakes” was enough. AND Williams did this while on his TV throne during the nightly news. Hardly the place to apologize and lie

Why not go on the tonight show or Today and explain, say WOW I am sorry and move on? Again simple. Williams does not get it. He needs a humility check and fast. NBC is now in a tight spot. This is a crisis manager’s dream. But did NBC learn from Sony? Looks like it with the leave of absence Williams is now on.

Celebrities and Networks need to understand that social media and the audience is now part of the process. Information is readily available and people want and deserve answers. Just look at how Brian Williams is #TRENDING. So is Armstrong. This is 2015- WE are all running the studios and networks.

Like all the work I do, I try to look for the lesson and take away in order to help build awareness, educate and help people. Here it really is a lesson in humility and walking the walk. Do that and people will forgive you, move on and even let you DWTS!

NBC seems to understand this and I believe Brian Williams will as well. As for Lance Armstrong- he needs to do a lot of work and THERAPY- I would not bet on that and his days as a hero and more are over. Now he should focus on his children and try to save some part of his legacy. But that would mean putting others first- nah- doubt that will happen.

The moral of the story or this blog is look at Martha Stewart and others who have lived through scandals and even myself. Stand up, speak out and never forget you are lucky to have a second chance.

Wendy Feldman is a  family legal coach, crisis manager and a well known expert on alternative sentencing. She is available for private consultation on how to navigate the many aspects of our legal system. She is also well known as a media manager and helps clients get their stories out. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from Today, CBS Early Show, Nightline, Fox News ABC News, She is a regular on the CBS entertainment show The Insider and Entertainment Tonight and featured in the hit series on E! Secret Societies of Hollywood. She is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Slate, BBC, NPR, People, US, New York Post, The Wrap and various radio shows around the world. She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com.

www.custodialcoaching.com

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Filed under Barry Bonds, Brian williams, crisis management, forgiveness, incarcervention, Lance Armstrong

Will Barry Bonds have to do the cough and squat like the rest of us?

Baseball great Barry Bonds is set to be sentenced Friday in his Federal Obstruction of Justice case. Bonds was indicted on perjury and obstruction charges in 2007. He was found guilty of one count of obstruction of justice in April 2011. This has been a long road for Bonds and the US Justice Department. The wheels of justice do turn slowly. You may recall that this case actually began in 2003 in what is known as the BALCO steroid scandal. Yes, 2003! It was then that Bond’s trainer Greg Anderson of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) was indicted in 2003 and charged with supplying anabolic steroids to his clients. This led to a major investigation by the Feds and Major League Baseball into the use of performance enhancing drugs. Bonds later admitted to using “the clear” but claimed he did not know what it was. Hmmmm.

So, do we really need to spend millions of dollars to put somebody like Bonds or Martha Stewart in Prison? Yes and no. Nobody should be exempt from following the rules and laws of our country. But, there is no doubt that our incarceration rates are soaring and our criminal justice system is a mess. In the Bonds case, the probation department in its recommendation to the judge is suggesting a substantial sentence of community service, home detention and supervised probation. The U.S. Attorney’s office wants Bonds to serve 15 months in Federal Prison. Now, what good will that do society at large?

Punitive vs. Rehabilitative

In an era of too much violent crime and cases in the news like Sandusky, Blago and Bernie Fine, we must differentiate between those who make poor choices and those who can acknowledge their actions and rehabilitate and learn from them. This is where our system breaks down. We have not figured out if all prison should be punitive or if some should also be rehabilitative. We have also not figured out who can be rehabilitated and how to do it. As the majority of people incarcerated in the U.S. are there on drug related crimes, we best figure this out, and fast. California has renamed is department of Corrections, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Facts about inmates

Get real people!! The fact of the matter is that most people in jail and prison right now are coming home and most of those in 5 years or less. So, this is an issue that we need to address. Further, the cost of incarcerating people is soaring. This is a cost that is sometimes necessary and yet other options like the Bonds recommendation, will work. The one thing I know that works for sure is accountability. Believe or not. The accountability Community Service and probation provide is often enough to put time and distance between the offender and their crime so that it does not happen again or manifest in other ways. If you do not believe this look at the recent case of Lindsay Lohan and how she is thriving with the tight restrictions the judge placed on her. As I have often written, community service is a no cost way to provide the needed accountability and “punishment” while actually being good for the community and the offender.

What should happen to Barry Bonds?

Barry Bonds admits he broke the law and has offered apologies that seem genuine. I am sure we will hear more of this Tuesday. It is this acceptance of responsibility that shows character and matters. Blago tried it but it was too little, too late and his crimes were not a one-time event, rather a long-standing pattern of behavior. There are criminals, criminal thinkers and people of good character who get trapped by their own lies and think they can make it better. Bonds appears to be one of those. Had he told the truth to the Grand Jury, he would not be in this situation. Secrets and lies often lead to prison. That is a fact. Remember that obstruction is a cover up and always it is a lie one is covering up. Just ask Martha Stewart! It cannot be forgotten that Stewart served one year and a day, part of it on house arrest for her Obstruction conviction. Did that help society or the many Martha Stewart employees? Yet, Martha was NOT sentenced to any community service. That itself is a crime when so many could have been helped by Stewart vs. paying for her prison stay.

This insider believes that Bonds should be sentenced to community service, home detention and probation in the ultimate Alternative Sentence. Should Bonds have been prosecuted at all? Yes, in the world I hope we will have, equal justice is key and nobody is above the law.

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Filed under BALCO, Barry Bonds, Federal Prison, Prison Consulting, prison preparation

What to expect when you are expecting…PRISON!!!

There are many types of people I work with as a prison consultant and legal coach. And, believe me it does take a village to handle all of these personalities. From Wall Street bigs, politicians and athletes to Celebrities, and even everyday mom and pop operators, mine is the best job on earth.

As fall begins we are about to embark on a season of very high profile and interesting cases. These include the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the sentencing’s of Blago, Raj Rajaratnam and Barry Bonds and the re trial of Roger Clemens just to name a few.

Yet, all of these cases and defendants need something different and all must cope with the reality that faces them; prison time. As with most of my clients and even myself, there are the everyday silly things to think about like prison food, living “accommodations” and fear of the other people inside. But, there are also families who will be left behind and children to care for and explain things to. You see, I not only work with the defendant but the entire family.

And there are the complexities of a person standing trial like Conrad Murray or Roger Clemens. In cases like that, I try to get the person facing trial to accept responsibility not for a crime but for the fact that certain choices have landed them in their current situation. It is with this acceptance that they can often find inner humility that will help carry them through a trial, sentencing and maybe even their prison term. It isn’t about what clothes they wear, and more about how they “present” themselves without ever saying a word.

For those actually getting ready to serve time, the concept is the same. Two things make prison easier: Respect and humility. Seems easy but we must remember that people going to prison often posses one or more criminal thinking errors such as grandiosity, entitlement, mollification and super optimism. Much to overcome.

But, I also work with the families, as families are the forgotten consequences of crime. To do this I must first get through all of the small issues like what you can bring, what job you should have, why YOU will not get the lower bunk at first and more. The most asked question is always about safety and then next is THE FOOD. And yes, COPS is popular in the TV rooms!

People must remember that prison is a great equalizer and no celebrity status can help you there. But, a good coach can. People passing through the criminal justice system, have patience and learn and follow the rules. Then, get ready to come home and live a better life. Look, if I did it, anybody can. As I always say, change is possible and prison is easy, re-entry is harder.

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Filed under Barry Bonds, Blago, Conrad Murray, Criminal Justice, Federal Prison, Goldman Sachs, Michael Jackson, prison consultant, prison preparation, raj rajaratnum

What do Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Cindy Anthony Have in Common???

It seems that every “expert” on television has a thought about Cindy Anthony and the question of perjury charges. Oddly enough, the consensus seems to be that she will not be charged. Many of the legal TV pundits and headline makers are outraged at the suggestion. Really? While all of us sympathize with her loss, the fact is people do go to prison everyday for perjury and making false statements. This insider has coached many people who served time for lying. Most do it because they are scared and do not know what else to do and  so they panic. A costly mistake.

Today Roger Clemens goes on trial in Federal Court on six counts. Two of these counts are for perjury and three for making false statements. In fact, just as in many cases, it is the cover up and not the actual crime that people go to Prison for. Think Martha Stewart, Marion Jones and many more. Baseball great Barry Bonds was convicted in April 2011 of Obstruction of Justice and the jury deadlocked on three charges of perjury. Bonds may be recharged on the perjury charges.

I empathize with anybody facing time on non-violent offenses. I believe that in most of these cases an alternative sentence of community service is more appropriate than actual jail or prison time. But, we are supposed to have a fair and balanced justice system. This means Equal Justice for all. Selective prosecution remains a fact of life. This because of the money needed to prosecute crimes and the vast differences between judges, prosecutors and legal jurisdictions. States have different protocols than the Feds and even District Attorney’s differ State-by-State, county-by-county.

But, this cannot mean that there are exceptions to laws. Our system is in enough trouble without that. One wrong does not make another right. So, what to do in the Cindy Anthony matter? Sadly that is the difficult task of the State of Florida. Stay tuned. Follow on Twitter @incarcervention

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Filed under alternatvive sentencing, BALCO, Barry Bonds, Casey Anthony, Criminal Justice, Federal Prison, incarcervention, jail, Marion JOnes, prison coaching, Prison Consulting, prison preparation, prison re entry, Tot mom, women in prison

What’s Federal Prison Like on July 4- Freedom day???

Have you ever wondered what prison is like on Independence Day?  Ironic, as prison is a place you earn your way to by choosing to give up your freedom. Independence what? The truth is that in the Federal Prison system– the BOP- Bureau of Prison’s- puts it’s best self forward as they do on all holidays. This means card tournaments, sports events, movies and special meals. All with prizes. Yep, prizes. Why? Because prison is supposed to be for paying your debt to society and rehabilitation. The fact is that most people in prison in the U.S. are coming home and most in less than 5 years. So, a little perk here and there does serve a purpose and make inmates feel more like people. People they will one day need to be as they re-enter society.

Of course, I was in a Federal Prison Camp- a la Martha StewartSteve Madden and Mike Milken, but the BOP strives to make all Federal Prisons more tolerable on holidays. So, even Bernie Madoff will be living it up this Fourth of July weekend. Next year Blago will be as well.

The fact is that most inmates appreciate these “perks” and holidays are hard. The Fourth of July and the celebration of freedom is a tough concept to deal with in prison. That’s why most choose not to think and reflect about their choices and the consequences. Those who end up in prison in  the United States have made a choice in most cases. It’s that choice that is hard to accept and why some people keep making the wrong ones. For those I say get an Incarcervention. For others, remember we live in the land of the free and change is possible.

But, I urge all of us- even those who have FREEDOM, to sit back and show gratitude. We do live in the land of the FREE. Happy July 4!!

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Filed under Barry Bonds, Blago, Cameron Douglas, Casey Anthony, criminal justice, Federal Prison, financial fraud, Fourth of July in prison, incarcervention, jail, prison coaching, prison preparation, prison re entry, raj rajaratnum, rapper T.I., restorative justice, Tot mom, visiting parents in prison, Wall Street, women in prison

The Casey Anthony Family-aka Fantasyland!!!

Are we sure Casey Anthony didn’t pretend to work at Disneyland and not Universal Studios? That would make sense and she and her family would be the ringmasters of Fantasyland. Today we saw yet another side of George Anthony- the grieving grandfather. This after he was argumentative and very guilty acting yesterday about his “affair” with a volunteer searcher. This case fascinates us so much because there really is something so odd about this family.

First, they all lie; they all have anger problems and ugly outbursts. And, they have all sold pieces of the story to the media. This does not make the elder Anthony’s guilty of murder or a cover up but it does make them likely guilty of perjury. I heard one legal “expert” on television say that there is no way any of the Anthony family except Casey would be prosecuted, even for lying on the stand, because they are grieving. Please, give me a break! This is not equal justice in the least if that’s the case.

In the United States, we do prosecute people for perjury every day. Ask Martha, Barry Bonds and many, many others. What we do not put people in jail for is poor parenting. Maybe we should start.

The Casey Anthony case is also amazing because the camera is in the courtroom and we see every move Casey makes. Her true colors are showing. No longer does she look like the party girl or even the tough girl. She looks, angry, pathetic and scared. I wonder, how much medication and what meds she is on?

I still maintain that the jail visiting tapes tell a story and the family are not fully innocent in this matter. Does that mean Casey didn’t kill her daughter-nope. It just means there is more rotten here than whatever was in the trunk. Maybe sexual abuse, maybe drugs or maybe just plain psychopathy. Better yet, a combo!

With the case going to the jury very soon, we will all be left to speculate until a verdict is reached and even then there will be questions. Casey needs a good prison coach but her family needs an Incarcervention before something else happens.

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Filed under Barry Bonds, community service, criminal justice, death row for women, incarcervention, jail, prison coaching, prison consultant, Prison Consulting, Prison conultants, Tot mom, women in prison

Barry Bonds- Welcome to the Club!!!

 

Barry Bonds was found guilty today of one charge of OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. The Federal Judge declared a mistrial on other charges of perjury and use of steroids. He was not acquitted on these charges. This means the government can decide to re-try him or simply sentence him on the one conviction.

This may be the end of an eight year legal battle stemming from either a simple lie or a serious misunderstanding. But, to believe Bonds has “misunderstood” so many different things, is itself unbelievable. At the very least Bonds must finally accept some responsibility for his actions and the huge cost of this mess to taxpayers.

Let us not forget that Obstruction is the same charge Martha Stewart went to jail for.  While none of us know if Bonds will go to prison, if we are truly to have a system with Equal Justice, then we all must consider what should happen with Bonds. I know one thing is for sure. Bonds should start practicing Restorative Justice now and give something back.

Barry Bonds, this insider urges that at the very least you are ordered to substantial Community Service. This for manipulating and taking resources away from those who have given you so much.

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Filed under BALCO, Barry Bonds, celebrities, community service, criminal justice, Federal Prison, jail, martha stewart, prison coaching, prison consultant, Prison conultants, prison preparation, Restoratice Justice