President Trump’s disgraced former lawyer Michael Cohen will report May 6 to a federal prison that’s been called one of the “cushiest” lockups in the country, where his fellow inmates will include celebrity felons.
Jersey Shore tax evader Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and Fyre Festival flim-flammer Billy McFarland are already doing their time at Federal Correctional Institution Otisville.
For prisoners, Otisville—just an hour outside New York City—is a coveted assignment. Forbes magazine deemed it one of America’s 10 “cushiest” prisons and the New York Post called it a “castle behind bars.” U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill has described it as “a jewel” of the federal prison system.
Cohen, who pleaded pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, violating campaign finance law, tax fraud and lying on a bank loan application, asked to be sent to Otisville to serve his three-year sentence. CNN was the first to report that the Bureau of Prisons had approved it.
It’s not the Loews Regency Hotel, where Cohen’s room was raided a year ago, but as prisons go, Otisville has a decent reputation.
“It’s not just good. It’s sweet,” ex-inmate John Altman told the Post in 2012. “The food is right. The commissary is right. The officers don’t bother you. There are a lot of courses you can take. You had weights inside and outside, free weights and machines.”
Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff wanted to do his time in Otisville but got shipped off to a lockup in Butner, North Carolina, instead. But the facility has had its share of high-profile residents, including Crazy Eddie founder Eddie Antar and disgraced New York legislator Dean Skelos.
Three months into his eight-month stint at Otisville, reality TV star Sorrentino is “having the time of his life,” co-star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi told E! News recently.
“It’s like he’s in a senior home. He’s playing Bingo. He’s helping people recover in jail," she said.
“He’s in the gym a lot, so he’s probably gonna come out ripped.”
The campus houses 800-plus male inmates in medium- and minimum-security settings.
Some convicts request to be sent to Otisville on religious grounds. It has a full-time Jewish chaplain and a kosher kitchen.
“The Bureau of Prisons kind of unofficially designated it to meet the needs of Orthodox Jews,” Rabbi Menachem Katz, director of prison programs for the Jewish-outreach Aleph Institute, once told New York magazine.
Otisville was recently in the news when the Bureau of Prisons temporarily halted visits after a child with measles visited their father there.
Additional reporting: Betsy Woodruff