Breaking news! A half dozen inmates were just released from Otisville. A few Jews were in the mix. A lucky Long Island Jewish podiatrist was granted freedom on the eve of Passover, a few months before he was scheduled to be released. He only got a year and a day for Medicare fraud. I met many Jewish podiatrists when I was locked up in Otisville. One guy wrote too many opioid prescriptions, but most overbilled the government for bunion procedures. Many of them were Russian Jews from Coney Island.
The lucky Jewish podiatrist is 57 years old and heading home to Long Island. The doc recently filed a motion requesting early release. The court website did not indicate whether his motion was granted. The Bureau of Prisons is releasing guys who are close to the end of their sentence who would normally be released to halfway houses for 6 months. The halfway houses are all closed. The inmates are now going to home confinement instead of halfway houses, which the BOP could anyway, even without a plague. But the Feds don’t do that. The Feds would rather have guys fund the halfway houses. When you are in a halfway house you have to give the halfway house a percentage of your salary, plus pay the Feds their restitution. The government takes its pound of flesh.
The attorney for the podiatrist stated in his motion for early release the following:
“On Friday, March 27, 2020, Otisville staff informed the residents that an inmate at the camp had tested positive for COVID-19. According to the current BOP website two staff have also tested positive. My client advises me that over the past weekend two more Otisville residents have been quarantined with Covid symptoms, and that just last night a resident was taken to a hospital with a fever of 104. Other prisoners are concealing symptoms to avoid being subjected to isolation. The camp at Otisville is overcrowded, and is at double its capacity. Inmates are kept in close quarters and eat shoulder to shoulder. As you are aware, COVID-19 is highly contagious and is spreading at a rapid rate. In New York State, more than 66,000 individuals have tested positive for the virus, resulting in at least 1,200 deaths. Orange County — where FCI Otisville is located — has registered over 1,400 cases, and New York City, located an hour-and-a-half drive from Otisville, has reported over 72,000 cases. In the Otisville camp, 120 inmates eat elbow-to-elbow at the same time, share one large bathroom with a handful of stalls and a handful of showers, and sleep together in bunks beds only a few feet apart that are divided principally between two dormitories (as opposed to individual cells). The two dormitories are separated only by the shared bathroom. There is no place to self-isolate. In short, measures being taken by BOP cannot help but be insufficient.”
I was told that another 19 inmates are supposed to be released from Otisville in the next couple of weeks. The guys who remain in Otisville will have it made after all these other guys leave early. They will have enough space for each inmate to have his own private bunk. There will be more food available. Nobody will be fighting over a seat in the mess hall. The guys will not have to listen to the constant flush of the toilet in the communal bathrooms, which are located a few feet from the bunks. The guys won’t fight as much over who controls the television sets.
The only problem with less guys in Otisville is that there won’t be a minyan in the shul. Inmate Michael Cohen recently tweeted: “Due to the restrictions imposed on public gatherings, religious history is being made on Friday evening at FCI-Otisville Satellite Camp. Perhaps one of the only Shabbat services will take place will take place with nearly 50 Jewish inmates.” Michael Cohen will not be part of religious history if there is no minyan. Michael Cohen is already part of history, he was the only snitch who has ever ratted out the President of the United States. The only other guy who ratted out a President was Baptist William Mark Felt Sr, AKA “Deep Throat,” who ratted out President Nixon to reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernsetin. But Mark Felt kept everything under cover. Felt never cooperated with the Feds. Felt never testified before Congress. Felt never went to Cooley Law School.
I am waiting to see if Michael Cohen’s connections with Donald Trump and Jared Kushner will score him an early release, redemption, freedom, and Moshiach, just in time for Passover. Cohen will either get an early release or he will get charged with new crimes by Trump’s evil twin Attorney General William Barr. Michael Cohen should heed the wise words of Rav Ula who once said, “if you did something evil, making you a little wicked, you should not do more evil and become very wicked, just as one who got bad breath from eating garlic should not then continue to eat garlic and make his breath worse.” Shabbos 31
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