STEPHEN M. GUNTHER

 

PROGRAM
 

     If you read the timeline shown above you probably don't feel as if you are reading a success story.  More than likely, you see a success story that turned into a colossal failure.  In a matter of years, I went from a high school dropout to lawyer. Then,  from a lawyer to a convicted felon and prison inmate.  Story over... The end...Right?  Wrong!  One of the most important things I have learned in my life is that the story is not and will not be over until the day you die.  Unfortunately bad things happen.  Sometimes we bring them on ourselves and sometimes we don't.  No matter how bad it gets you must remember that every new day is an opportunity to improve yourself and make a difference in this world.   A second chance is always there if you want it.  It's up to you to stand up and take it.

 

   On January 7, 2010, the greatest challenge in my life became a reality.  That was the day an FBI agent came to my office and notified me that the United States Attorney was going to proceed against me for three counts of wire fraud.  The charges stemmed  from 4 real estate closings conducted by my office in 2006.   Suddenly I was facing something  I never imagined possible.  I was devistated.  I had worked so hard to get where I was and now I was facing the possibility of prison.   Not because of a scheme or plan I devised to take advantage of someone.   I didn't even receive a real tangible benefit from the crime.  It doesn't matter.  They called me a "facilitator".  They explained to me that the crime could not have been completed without the cooperation of my office.  As hard as it is for me to say  it... They were right!

 

   Professionals have a high level of accountability and are often held to a higher standard when it comes to errors or omissions.  As a business professionals you must be aware and involved in all aspects of your business.  One of the real estate closings that led to my issue was closed by a staff member without my knowledge.  I was more concerned with my bottom line and getting more business than I was with what was going on in my own office.  I was irresponsible by poorly managing my staff.   As a result I had committed a crime.

 

     Most professionals  often must make critical decisions on a daily basis.  Occasionally, you may be faced with decisions that have to be made in the spur of a moment.  Sometimes those decisions could have great reprocussions to yourself and career if you don't make the correct choice.  That is part of what happened to me.  There was a tough decision that I had to make regarding a real estate deal.  I became aware of an issue as the deal progressed rapidly.  There was a moment, I had to decide whether to ignore the issue and let the deal close, or acknowledge the issue and stop the deal. I made the wrong choice.  Again, the result was that I had  committed a crime.  

 

    When I tell my story people are often shocked when they realize how these simple mistakes cost me my carreer and my freedom.  Perhaps you are even feeling sorry for me after reading this.  DONT!  What happened is in the past. What I do with it now is all that matters!   When we are reckless and make bad decisions there are often consequences. I accepted responsibility for my actions and those of my staff.  It was extremely difficult, but I know I chose the right path.  In the very early stages of my prosecution, I decided that I would never compromise my character and show everyone I encountered that I was a good person.  I began to speak to any group that would listen about my crime in an effort to make something positive from my situation.  It is my hope that my story will help prevent others from encountering  a circumstance like mine.  

 

    If you view the Past Events and Testimonials page of this website, you will see I have had the opportunity to speak to a variety of different audiences.  My program can be easily tailored to fit any type of audience.  The program is perfect for any professional organization,  business, investment club, high school, college, or graduate school.  I have received a tremendously posative response to the program and I am certain that you will find the program to be inspirational, informative, motivational, and entertaining. 

Follow the link to have Stephen come share his story at your event. 

Timeline:   "ATTORNEY TO INMATE...WHAT WENT WRONG"

 

  • 1988 - High School Drop-out;

  • 1989 - Obtained GED;

  • 1997 - BS Criminal Justice at Old Domionion University;

  • 2000 - Juris Doctor at St. Thomas University School of Law;

  • 2000 - Member of Virginia State Bar;

  • 2005 - Opened Stephen M. Gunther P.C.;

  • 2010 - Pled Guilty to 1 Count of Wire Fraud;

  • 2010 - Surrendered My Law License;

  • 2010 - Reported to Butner Federal Prison Camp;

  • 2011 - Released From BOP Custody in December;

  • Present - Speaking Out to Help Others to Learn From  My Mistakes.