CNBC ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY TAKES VIEWERS INSIDE FEDERAL PRISON WHERE NETWORK NEWS CAMERAS HAVE NOT GONE FOR MORE THAN FIFTEEN YEARS TO CAPTURE THE EXPERIENCE OF CONVICTED CEOS AND OTHER CORPORATE SWINDLERS
ONE-HOUR ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY REPORTED BY CNBC'S ANDREW ROSS SORKIN
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., April 22, 2015 – Federal prison camps, dismissed by many as "Club Fed" resorts, are in fact home to thousands of white collar felons who live alongside drug dealers, bank robbers and other hardened criminals. For more than fifteen years, network news cameras haven't been allowed inside…until now.
On Wednesday, April 29th at 10PM ET/PT, CNBC presents "White Collar Convicts: Life on the Inside," a one-hour documentary reported by correspondent Andrew Ross Sorkin that goes behind prison walls to capture the raw experience of convicted CEOs and other corporate swindlers who are doing time. From inside traders to embezzlers and money launderers, this CNBC Original tells the story of high-flying power brokers humbled by a fall from grace and forced to trade a life of wealth and prestige for one controlled by prison guards.
Sorkin speaks to well-known white collar criminals including Dennis Kozlowski, who went from earning more than $100 million a year as chief of Tyco to 85 cents an hour working at the prison laundry; former NYPD commissioner and corrections chief Bernard Kerik; and former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio. With prison behind them, these men open up about life on the inside, describing a deadening mix of boredom, isolation and fear, as well as the struggle to re-enter society bearing the stigma that comes with being a convicted felon.
CNBC also travels to the Federal Prison Camp in Danbury, CT where Piper Kerman, author of "Orange is the New Black," served her time. CNBC speaks there with Heather Bliss, a 39-year-old college-educated mother convicted along with her husband for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme. With both Bliss and her husband in prison, their four children are living with friends. Bliss, who surrendered eight months pregnant and temporarily transferred to a one-year program for inmates who are new mothers, says it helps her to think of Danbury as a "spiritual retreat."
CNBC also takes viewers inside the federal prison camps in Alderson, WV, where Martha Stewart served time, and McCreary, KY, where convicted Ponzi schemer Aaron Vallett is now serving ten years. Vallett shows Sorkin his meager living quarters and explains how he copes with a sentence that will stretch on for years. CNBC also follows disgraced corporate lawyer Ken Flaska aboard an Amtrak train bound for Jesup, GA, contemplating his final hours of freedom before beginning a five-year sentence. "You know, if I were to tell you I wasn't afraid, I'd be lying," says Flaska. "I'm scared. Who wouldn't be scared? You're going to prison."
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Mitch Weitzner is Senior Executive Producer and Vice President of Long Form Programming. Wally Griffith is the Senior Producer, Deborah Camiel and James Segelstein are Producers and Michael Beyman is Associate Producer. Nikhil Deogun is Senior Vice President and Editor in Chief of Business News for CNBC.
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