I had been locked up for 177 days when I enrolled in Ed Stein’s patented anger management class in prison. Ed Stein is an inmate who taught the class with another inmate named George Motz. But George, the former mayor of the Village of Quogue, in the Hamptons, was just Ed’s sidekick. Ed was the Master of Ceremonies. Ed is one of the angriest guys in the prison. Ed’s sidekick George is not so angry. Or at least he doesn’t appear angry. I think George is angry. He got 8 years in a financial scheme where he juggled trades between client accounts in his Wall Street investment firm to show that he was making a profit on some of the accounts. The government called it “cherry picking.”
George has good reason to be angry. He got eight years for a crime in which the losses were hard to calculate. Depending on which expert you believe, the losses were either over two million or well under a million. No victims showed up at his sentencing. Some victims wrote letters in support of George. This man was 68 years old at the time of his sentencing, with a number of health problems. George devoted his life to public service and served as an Army lieutenant during the Vietnam War. At one point during his legal proceedings, after he got some of the charges dismissed, the government recommended only three years of incarceration. Yet George ended up with eight long years. He is not happy about this. He is entitled to be angry. Yet, for the most part George never appeared visibly upset or angry. George was “one of those guys” who counted each day that he was locked up. I never counted the days. It was too depressing to count.
Ed Stein was always angry and ready to explode. But Ed had no reason to be mad. Ed was facing almost 20 years for his decade long fifty million dollar ponzi scheme. Yet the Judge only gave Ed 9 years, only one year more than George.Ed should have been happy that he only got 9 years. He should be doing cartwheels in the Big House. Ed had many victims. Ed’s victims wrote many long heartfelt letters of sorrow to his sentencing judge.
One victim of Ed Stein wrote: “Mr. Stein has stolen the entire life savings of my family. Mr. Stein has taken much more than money. He has taken from us the ability for me to make my daughter the wedding of her dreams… Any plans for retirement for my husband and myself are no longer attainable as all our retirement money is gone.” Another victim wrote: “My husband had been very ill and just released from a month in the hospital. We thought that he might never be able to work again. Stein knew all about this and was most sympathetic but still took our money.”
Another Ed Stein victim wrote: “I cry alone ashamed of myself for giving a crook the money my dad worked so hard for on his back, under cars, in our back yard through the hot summer days and cold winter nights. In the morning I wake up feeling a need to sleep all day due to the nightmares and restlessness. I’ve lost my self-esteem, I feel helpless, I feel hopeless.”
This Ed Stein victim wrote: “Mr Stein used the fact that, after losing both parents within three months, I was overwhelmed, and he began to methodically pray on me.”
Another victim: “The money that Stein stole from my family came from the sweat of my late father, my dream was to never touch that hard earned money. That dream is gone.”
Another victim: “What we were not prepared for was the wrath of Edward Stein, a man who was in our house providing us with security for our golden age. We are only one victim that he destroyed and it is affecting three families.”
At a time when Ed was in the hole $40 million dollars to investors, he took one million from a new victim and used it as a down payment on a luxury Manhattan apartment. The government wasn’t too happy about this. The New York Times even wrote an article about Ed Stein and his luxury apartment.
When I was locked up with Ed he got a weekend furlough. He got to leave the prison and visit his old buddies on Wall Street. Unfortunately he forgot his drivers license. All he had was his prison identification. He couldn’t get into any of the Wall Street office towers with a prison id. Another humiliation suffered by felons!
The reason I signed up for the anger management class was because the blueboyz told us to take as many prison sponsored classes as possible because it looks good on your “record.” I doubt anyone in the outside world, or in the prison for that matter, would be impressed that I passed Ed Stein’s Anger Management Class.
I entered the anger management class and took a seat with the other inmates. Ed Stein handed out a list of questions to answer, a test. The form asked you about how you and your family members handled anger provoking situations. The test was scored to determine your level of anger. The Russian inmates had very high anger scores, they were off the charts. But one inmate had the highest score in the class: Dr. Eric Senat, a loud, animated, Bible beating Haitian orthopedic doctor from Long Island. He looks like a giant PEZ dispenser, with a big head and lanky stick figure of a body. His nickname was “The Witch Doctor.” He did 15 months for over billing insurance companies $600K. The Witch Doctor billed insurance companies for treating patients while he was on vacation in the Islands drinking margaritas.
The Witch Doctor argued at sentencing that he was a religious man, a devout Catholic. From an early age he said he was an alter boy. He always wanted to be a priest. But he became “disenchanted with clergymen who were not following the teachings of Jesus, living lavishly while parishioners who put money in the collection plates could barely afford to eat.”
Instead of going into the clergy, the Witch Doctor went into medicine, a profession that worships money. The Witch Doctor took $600K from insurance companies’ collection plates. At sentencing, one supporter said of the Witch Doctor, “His main goal is not about making money but about helping people first.”
At sentencing the son of the Witch Doctor said that his father “dedicated his life to others, preaching selflessness…. jail would place the family in a precarious financial position.” The selfless Witch Doctor lived in a two million dollar house in Long Island.
Within three weeks of pleading guilty the Witch Doctor wrote a check to the government for full restitution. When a guy like the Witch Doctor tries to create the illusion that he lived a selfless life focused on helping the poor, and his $600K scam was out of his character, does he honestly think that a Federal Judge will believe him? He must think a Federal judge is dumber than a voodoo doll.
At sentencing the Witch Doctor’s wife pleaded, “The humiliation endured… is nothing short than a rope on his neck, our necks… this is heartbreaking for his patients, some of whom are unable to hold back tears… He internalizes his pain… we find ourselves crying together, but the Lord always delivers enough strength to us to remember that ‘no cross is heavier than the one carried by Jesus’… my husband needs to be free, more importantly I do not believe my husband himself will survive a jail sentence physically or emotionally…..”
At sentencing the Witch Doctor’s family shamelessly begged for mercy. The Witch Doctor’s son beseeched the Judge: “I’ve spent many lonely nights in the dark contemplating all the tribulations my father is facing. It’s painful, because I feel so helpless. We are all enduring the punishment he is suffering. The entire family bleeds with him. We are going through hell…”
The Witch Doctor’s daughter told the sentencing judge that her father was her role model who instilled values of “integrity, honesty and hard work.” The Witch Doctor’s daughter’s had her ten seconds of fame when she sang the Star Spangled Banner at her law school graduation in front of forty thousand people.
The Witch Doctor’s wife told the sentencing judge that her husband “had a way of creating a special bond with his patients, unlike all other doctors.” But in prison the Witch Doctor did not bond well with his fellow inmates. In the anger management class everyone complained that the Witch Doctor was always in everyone’s face yelling and screaming all the time, starting fights.
The Witch Doctor had a hard time getting along with Neighborhood Mitch. Neighborhood Mitch was a bill collector for the Gambino crime family. The Witch Doctor never met a guy like Neighborhood Mitch. I would repeat some of the words exchanged between these two but this blog is intended for the entire family to read and enjoy, and avoids the use of profanities. Neighborhood Mitch used to make jokes about how the “problem” of the Witch Doctor could easily be solved.
In this particular anger management class the Witch Doctor didn’t complain about Neighborhood Mitch. The Witch Doctor was angry at one of the Romano brothers. There was a case out in Long Island involving a coin business in which four Romano brothers were busted. Two of them ended up at Otisville. They were all featured on an episode of American Greed. The Romano brothers in Otisville were decent guys. In prison you are surrounded by guys who are either stressed out, climbing the walls, looking to scam other inmates, or on the verge of a mental breakdown. So it doesn’t take much to be a “decent guy” in prison. I would say the Romano brothers were more than just “decent guys.” They were “good guys.” When I was locked up I could care less what crime a fellow inmate did on the outside. It’s not easy being locked up 24/7. If you are locked up with decent human beings or “good guys” it makes your time in jail that much easier. And that’s all that matters.
The Witch Doctor complained in the anger management class that one of the Romano brothers purposely caused noxious odors to be discharged from his buttocks in the “dorm” where they shared living quarters. I suspect that this particular Romano brother has a gastrointestinal problem, caused by the prison meals, which are not very healthy. The blueboyz budget $3.00 a day to feed each inmate, with companies bidding against each other to get these contracts for their shelf expired food.
The “dorm” is a room just big enough to fit ten bunk beds. Twenty guys live in the dorm at any given time. When you first arrive at the camp you get sent to the dorm. After awhile you get moved to the other building and share a small cubicle with another inmate. Most guys in the dorm have little fans attached to their beds that they point at the Romano brother in order to deflect the foul odors. There is also one big fan in the corner of the room that blows at the Romano brother. And there are a number of windows that are left open. Things can get pretty cold in the winter when the windows are left open. When the bluegirl goes into the dorms to count the inmates she covers her nose and mouth with her shirt, a homemade gas mask.
The Witch Doctor is very loud when he speaks, and can be quite animated. He said he is not getting along with anyone in the dorm. He said he doesn’t like the noise of the big fan. He said everyone thinks he is argumentative. He said that he is not trying to be argumentative. He said Haitians are by nature loud and animated. He said that guys should not take it personally.
The Witch Doctor said in anger management that based on his professional medical background he has concluded that guys in prison exhibit animal like behavior. He said guys become hostile and territorial when they are locked up 24/7. He said locking guys up causes emotional and psychological damage. Jail causes guys to regress. Does it really take a man with a medical degree to figure this out?
The Witch Doctor was released from prison after 15 months. It was a day many guys looked forward to. The Witch Doctor made sure to leave prison in style. He packed all his belongings and left them with the officer at the camp. He then walked over to the main prison where he was processed for release. His family picked him up in his white Mercedes at the main prison. He changed into a tuxedo, complete with a top hat. He then drove the Mercedes to the camp to pick up the rest of his belongings. Nobody was impressed. “Au Revoir,” as they say in Haiti….