Michael Cohen to report to one of ‘America’s cushiest prisons’
Michael Cohen will report to the federal prison in Otisville, New York, when he begins serving his three-year sentence on May 6, his spokeswoman Eleanor McManus told CNN.
Cohen requested that prison, which is popular among Jewish inmates and for its proximity to New York City, when he was sentenced in December for campaign finance, lying to Congress and other financial crimes. US District Judge William Pauley agreed to recommend Otisville.
He’ll join such inmates as Billy McFarland, the promoter of the doomed Fyre Festival, and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, the former cast member of the reality show “Jersey Shore.”
Cohen was originally set to begin his sentence on March 6 but was granted a two month delay to receive medical treatment for his shoulder and to cooperate with congressional inquiries.
He testified publicly before the House Oversight Committee in February and in three closed-door sessions with the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.
Earlier this month, however, Cohen’s attorneys failed in their bid to win lawmakers’ support to try to further delay his sentence after they said Cohen discovered a hard drive and documents that he wanted additional time to review.
One of ‘America’s 10 cushiest prisons’
Otisville has sometimes been viewed as a preferable prison option for inmates convicted of white-collar crimes. In 2009, Forbes named it one of “America’s 10 cushiest prisons.”
Otisville has nearly 838 inmates. The prison includes a detention center, where 726 inmates are housed, and an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp with 112 inmates, according to its website.
Other inmates include Sholam Weiss, a businessman who was convicted of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering in connection to the collapse of National Heritage Life Insurance Company in 1999. Celebrity financial adviser Kenneth Ira Starr has also spent time at FCI Otisville after pleading guilty to carrying out a $33 million scheme to defraud clients.
At FCI Otisville’s detention center, the daily schedule begins at 6 a.m. with a wake-up call and lights on, and days are made up of a series of meals, work calls, unit sanitation and leisure time activities. Lights out is at 11:30 p.m.
Inmates are allowed 12 visiting points per month, with a visit on a weekday counting as one point and on holidays or weekends as two points.
The satellite camp is more lenient. The camp has a number of recreational activities: Weights, cardio equipment, bocce ball and horseshoes. The camp has a basketball court, handball court, tennis area, baseball field, and running and walking areas.
Given its proximity to New York’s sizable Jewish population, the commissary includes a number of kosher foods, including matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, beef cholent and rugelach.
A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons, which designates inmates, did not respond to requests for comment. The agency generally does not confirm inmate locations until they are in custody.