Bill Livolsi was recently released from a Federal prison to home confinement due to COVID-19. He is a member of our White Collar Support Group that meets online on Zoom on Monday evenings, 7:00 pm ET, 6:00 pm CT, 5:00 pm MT, 4:00 pm PT. We celebrated our 200th consecutive weekly online meeting on Monday, April 13, 2020.
This is an invitation to join a growing community of men and women who have faced, or are facing, prosecution for white collar crimes.
Every Monday evening, I attend a White Collar Support Group on ZOOM. We are a very diverse group, all sharing a common bond, in varying stages of our journey. We share the good and the bad, our struggles and our successes, and what we have learned, all with a focus on compassion and accountability, in a supportive and spiritual setting.
Although the lens is spiritual, we get real in a hurry as we are all in the midst of the most difficult challenges of our lives. Most of us have lost our careers, our friends and our families, some of us were subjected to relentless press coverage, and we were all ostracized from our communities.
Rev. Jeff Grant, J.D, M.Div. mentors our group. He has traveled the road we are on. I encourage you to read Jeff’s story.
I met Jeff in 2013, a few months into dealing with a federal indictment for wire fraud. I was confused at what I was facing, and scared at the thought of what this would do to my family, especially my youngest children who were 9 and 11 years old at the time. My children were soon likely to lose both their parents to federal prison.
The first time Jeff and I spoke, I had just dropped off the kids at school and was sitting in my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot where I wouldn’t be disturbed. Jeff answered my call and I nervously introduced myself. I realized fairly quickly that Jeff was someone who could help me find some of the answers I was seeking. We talked for at least 90 minutes that morning.
Whether it was discussing how best to talk to the children about our situation; setting up a support system for them in school and in private counseling; talking thru the various aspects of dealing with the criminal justice system and what to expect before, during and after; never once did he rush me off or make me feel that my issues were unimportant. Jeff has helped me in so many ways since that first call. In fact, it was Jeff who suggested that my attorney request staggered sentences for my wife and me (which the judge approved).
Since that first call we’ve talked about life in prison and starting over afterwards, maintaining a marriage while incarcerated, and the importance of forgiveness, just to name a few. I value Jeff’s advice because he always gives a straight answer and I can always count on it being true to his experience.
Eventually, in 2015, I was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison. My report date was deferred until 2019, while my wife served her time. This time was invaluable; as I was able to raise my children from early childhood to the wonderful teenagers they are today. The most difficult thing I ever faced was saying goodbye to my children and family and walking into R&D at El Reno. Even as I took those steps, and began serving my sentence, Jeff and his ministry were there for me.
Six weeks ago, a little over one year into my sentence, I gained early release as a result of the CARES Act. I’m back home in Tulsa now, living with my children and loving every moment. That’s not to say I don’t face significant challenges. We all do. I am rebuilding extended family relationships, kick-starting a second career, adjusting to the social stigma of being a convicted felon, and doing what I can to reestablish ties to my community.
I was eager to rejoin Jeff and the support group that he has built. After clearing participation with my P.O., I was on the ZOOM call the very next Monday evening. Each week I am reminded that I am not alone, that through my participation I can help, and learn, from others, and that despite all the hardships I have so much to be grateful for.
I encourage you contact Jeff. He will send you a link to join us this Monday night @ 7pm eastern (4pm pacific). If you put in the work it will change your life. It might save it too.
I hope to see you there.
Bill Livolsi, Tulsa, Oklahoma