University of Notre

University of Notre Dame Class of 2017.

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In 2014, through a company he controls called El Caballero LLC. Shapiro bought a custom powerboat dubbed Sea Block that retails for a half-million dollars Heading to the companys headquarters one July morning he stopped first for CrossFit a military-style training regime that he enjoys because it brings out his competitive side then for daily prayer Families who use JPay love the company he says He boasts of its well-trafficked Web forum and of the 174000 "likes" on its Facebook page where its marketers post cheery articles about incarceration "The Jail Cats program at Gwinnett County Detention Center in Georgia is rescuing kittens and helping to rehabilitate incarcerated women"one recent post read "We go out of our way to make sure that they feel comfortable that you know youre spending money with a company that cares about you" Shapiro says If people dont want to pay his fees Shapiro says they can always mail a money order except in the "couple of states" that now charge fees for them Nearly 400000 people are imprisoned in states where there is no free deposit option a fact Shapiro was unaware of during a series of interviews this summer "When its up to us its absolutely free" he says Slow-moving money orders For the first 14 years of Eddies sentence Pat Taylor mailed money orders directly to the prison at no charge beyond the cost of the money order and a stamp Then last year she was instructed to make the money order out to JPay and send it to a Florida post office box The company would credit it to Eddies account Under the new system she says it would take weeks for Eddie to see funds sent via money order So Pat like nearly everyone else she knows gave in and began paying $695 to send the money from her debit card Across the country delays and other obstacles make the "free option" inaccessible to many families the Center found More than a dozen families in five different states said that money orders have been credited much more slowly since JPay took over Shapiro says he is "absolutely shocked" by the complaints that money orders are delayed because he had never heard of such problems before Most money orders are processed within two to three days he said unless the person sending money fails to fill out the form properly He said Virginia is especially efficient and processes money orders within 24 to 48 hours "We are not slowing it down there is no conspiracy" he said He said JPay does "want people to convert from a money order customer to a digital customer absolutely" but only because electronic payments are more efficient "Were not trying to make an extra dollar everywhere we can" Shapiro said Before JPay Virginia prisons credited money orders to inmates accounts in roughly three days families say Today money orders can take more than a month to reach an inmates account Marvin Rodriguez-Barrera an inmate at Virginias high-security Red Onion State Prison wrote in a letter to prisoners rights advocates in February Faster to Guatemala "I am from Central America and it is cheaper for my family and easier to send money to Guatemala than for my family to send me money from this very state" Rodriguez-Barrera wrote "The old way of using money orders was cheaper easier and in many instances faster" Those seeking to avoid the fees by sending a money order must print and fill out a JPay-provided form whose instructions are dwarfed by large print barking at them to "Put down your pen Put away your car keys" because "Theres a faster way to send money go to JPaycom and sign up now" The aggressive marketing has worked One former marketing director for the company lists as a key accomplishment on his LinkedIn profile that he "Converted 78 percent" of money order users to online users boosting the companys annual revenue by $985000 Shapiro said the information in the profile including the former employees title was inaccurate He said he didnt have data on how many money order users convert to electronic payments or how much revenue the company gains when they make the switch Inside JPays secure fishbowl-like money order processing room reams of envelopes sit in postal bins on the shelves Signs around the room remind the handful of workers employed there which states allow them to deduct a fee and which offer the service for free In Pennsylvania the first state where JPay accepted money orders by mail executives were surprised to see the number of money orders plunge by two-thirds in the first two months Chief Financial Officer Mark Silverman explained in a brief interview Shapiro said that Missouri used to process 30000 money orders a month before JPay came in "With JPay we drove that down to only 1000 people sending money" he says "And thats by choice" JPays marketing materials urge customers to choose the higher-cost option During her twice-monthly visits to Bland an isolated work camp nestled between rolling green hills Pat Taylor now sees JPay-branded fliers warning of the misery awaiting anyone who tries to use the "free option" On one side a multi-ethnic lineup of models bury their faces in their hands and complain of what a "nightmare" it was to complete the money order how it got lost or delayed "Theres a better way" the flier promises on the reverse side which depicts an attractive young woman seated with her laptop computer For "Faster Easier Next-Day Delivery" families can choose from a menu of high-fee options Tequila cigars and lobbying To impress state corrections officials and gain their business JPay spends heavily on industry conventions attended by agency heads with contracting authority During a 2012 convention of the American Correctional Association the company threw what it called an "END OF THE WORLD PARTY" at a Denver wine bar that bills itself as "about you and your inalienable right to the unbridled enjoyment of food and wine" The invitation printed on a disposable beer coaster promised "a bash JPay-style: *fuerte* tequila hand-rolled cigars a live mariachi band" Conventioneers could catch a JPay shuttle leaving from the hotel "ALL NIGHT LONG" it said For years JPay has sponsored an award for former state corrections directors presented by the Association of State Correctional Administrators paying for the recipients trip and a Wexford crystal bowl inscribed with the honorees name JPays outreach extends to state legislatures as well even though many of the companys contracts forbid it from using fee revenue to lobby The company has hired registered lobbyists in at least seven states Shapiro says JPays lawyers approved the use of company funds for that purpose In Ohio it tapped Thomas Needles a former aide to President George H W Bush Needles gives generously to Republican candidates and also lobbies for for-profit universities In Maryland JPay hired Bruce Bereano one of the state’s best-paid lobbyists who was disbarred after a 1994 conviction for overbilling his clients and using the money for campaign donations The company also sought to lobby Washington for access to the federal Bureau of Prisons 216000 inmates what Shapiro has called "the mother ship of all contracts" which is now held by Bank of America It spent $20000 in 2012 to hire Park Strategies run by former US Sen Alfonse DAmato of New York in an effort to obtain the contract That effort was not successful More inmates smaller budgets JPay was founded in 2002 just as the US prison population neared the apex of a three-decade climb that more than quadrupled the number of inmates in state prisons Shortly thereafter as the economy went into recession state budgets were squeezed and officials looked more aggressively for ways to cut spending on prisons Already private vendors had stepped in with a solution: They would charge prisoners sky-high prices for phone services snack foods hygiene products and clothing then return a large cut back to the prisons often 40 percent or more Shapiro was the first entrepreneur to see how financial services might provide another stream of revenue For a fee he offered to deliver cash in ways that saved time and effort for corrections agencies and often to give them a portion of the proceeds just as the phone and commissary companies were doing "When we started the states were very much saying to us Theres no need for procurement here because theres no one else doing what you do " Shapiro said in a 2012 interview Ten years later he said all of them were asking companies to submit bids for the work That doesnt mean the door is open to competitors Most states including Virginia now contract with JPay or its main competitor under a master agreement negotiated by Nevada in 2011 on behalf of a multi-state consortium Participating states can simply sign on to the deal with one or both of the companies without the hassle of separately determining the best company for the job JPay is protected from other market forces as well When states offer its music players and tablet computers for sale to inmates they often confiscate radios that people already own according to inmates in Ohio This leaves inmates dependent on JPays music downloads which can cost 30 to 50 percent more than the same songs on iTunes inmates say The profit-sharing arrangements are at the core of JPays origin story Shapiro said in 2012 A couple of years out of college he spent months driving around upstate New York pitching JPay to "every sheriff whether they had five inmates or 100 inmates" without success Then someone in Passaic County New Jersey suggested that they offer the county 10 percent of their revenue "so the jail would be less of a tax burden on the community" The warden signed up on the spot Critics including Alex Friedmann associate director of the Human Rights Defense Center an inmates advocacy group says the profit-sharing amounts to a legal kickback "They charge exhorbitant fees then kick back a percentage of their revenue . because I do go without paying some bills sometimes to go see him, 2018 and ends at 11:59:59 P. cable, “Which insurance company has the best rates? In the mean time, Flooding the peninsula with various Cossack vigilantes would not be good for "keeping order, "When we launched About. During the final moments of the performance.

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