He Runs a Support Group for White-Collar Criminals

The 'New Yorker' takes a look
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2021 11:30 AM CDT
Inside a Support Group for White-Collar Criminals
   (Getty Images)

It's safe to say that for most of his life, Jeffrey D. Grant didn't know what "macks" were. That would be a reference to foil packages of smoked mackerel, which functioned as a kind of currency in a federal prison in Pennsylvania, where Grant spent 14 months. His stay there began in 2006, after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a $247,000 disaster-relief loan the lawyer secured after he lost use of an office near Ground Zero in the wake of 9/11. Except there was no office, hence the fraud, hence the prison sentence, and hence, in part, a lengthy piece from Evan Osnos from the New Yorker titled "Life After White-Collar Crime." Osnos focuses in large part on Grant, who has for the past five years run the White Collar Support Group.

It's an online meeting for people looking to "take responsibility for our actions and the wreckage we caused," he told Osnos or, more plainly, for "guys detoxing from power and influence." Osnos was able to sit in on one of the group's Zoom meetings in July (28 others attended), and he uses it as a springboard to talk about the origins of the term "white-collar crime," whether money-flush businesses attract would-be criminals or develop them, the flow and then ebb in white-collar prosecutions, and what he heard while listening in. For one, "measurements of success ... haunt the conversations" in the group. And he observes that while members of Grant’s group "usually come to accept that they got themselves into trouble ... more than a few hope to [work their way] back to the club they used to belong to—winners of the American game." (Read the full story.)

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