Gary Schlesinger, of the politically powerful and connected Schlesinger family of Williamsburg, has been dispensing COVID19 vaccines to hundreds of Boro Park residents through his health care clinic ParCare Community Health Network located at 445 Park Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. 445 Park Avenue is owned by an LLC which is owned by a guy named Bernard Spitzer. The Sptizer family is also a big Satmar name in Williamsburg. Schlesinger posted numerous pictures of himself with big machers and politicos on his Facebook page, including a picture with Mayor DiBlasio. The State of New York is investigating why Schlesinger has been dispensing vaccines to people who are not on the top of the list, such as health care workers and nursing home patients. The State is investigating why Schlesinger is asking for insurance information from patients, in an apparent attempt to bill private insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid, when the vaccines are supposed to be dispensed for free. Its not clear how Schlesinger got his supply of vaccines.
Gary Schlesinger is the younger brother of Victor Schlesinger. Back in 2005 Victor Schlesinger testified against his uncle Naftuli Schlesinger in a $4.5 million fire insurance fraud case in which Naftuli got a 15 year prison sentence. Natfuli just got out. I got to know Naftuli well when I was locked up in Otisville. Naftuli’s nickname was “Zaidy.” Zaidy is about 81 years old.
Zaidy burned down his factory no less than five times in a ten year period. He would have gotten away with it had his nephews Victor Schlesinger and Israel Schwimmer, nephew by marriage, not testified against him at trial. Naftuli’s late brother Jack Schlesinger, the father of Victor and Gary Schlesinger, was part of this scheme for many years. The nephews testified against Naftuli as cooperating government witnesses, and thus were not charged with any crimes themselves, as they knew all about the schemes.
Nephew Victor Schlesinger testified about a bitter family dispute between Naftuli Schlesinger and Naftuli’s brother Jack Schlesinger after the fifth fire. They fought over the proceeds of the fire insurance. Naftuli apparently cut Jack and his family out of the proceeds after Jack died shortly after the fire. Victor testified that after Jack died Naftuli forced Jack’s daughter Miriam Schwimmer out of the family residence, which made Jack Schlesinger’s wife and the rest of her family angry at Naftuli. The two factions of the family ended up suing each other.
Israel Schwimmer, Naftuli’s nephew by marriage, and the husband of Miriam Schwimmer, who was kicked out of her house by Naftuli, testified against Naftuli. Israel testified about the bitter Schlesinger family feud that occurred after the death of Jack Schlesinger. Israel testified that he had a violent altercation with Naftuli’s son, David Schlesinger, which resulted in Schwimmer’s arrest.
While Naftuli waited to be sentenced, Naftuli’s supporters posted pamphets throughout Williamsburg attacking the nephews Victor and Israel: “Everybody knows that the two named informants are sinners of Israel, the known bad and cruel persons… they went with unheard cruelty and informed about their uncle with lies and inventions Naftali Schlesinger. And they caused that he should be sitting and suffering in a heavy jail, suffering both in his body and in his soul. And he’s expecting a heavy sentence from the judge towards a life-long imprisonment. May the Lord have pity on him…”
Some months after Naftuli got convicted he filed a motion to get a new trial. He submitted tape recorded statements of Israel Schwimmer which were made at the law office of Naftuli’s attorney four months after the trial. Israel stated on tape that he lied during the trial when he testified against Naftuli. He said he was now admitting his lies because he felt bad about his uncle Naftuli going to jail.
The Judge hauled Israel back into Federal court in order to explain his tape recorded statements made after the trial. Israel told the judge that he didn’t know that he was being secretly tape recorded. He said that he was tricked into going to Naftuli’s lawyer’s office by friends of Naftuli. He said that he was made to drink large quantities of alcohol on the car ride to the attorney’s office. He said he was not allowed to leave the law office until he made his statements, as the doors were guarded by two large men. He told the judge that his original statements during the trial were 100% true. Naftuli lost his motion for a new trial.
Naftuli had many visitors at the Otisville prison. Naftuli’s large family showed up at Otisville dressed as if they were attending a wedding reception. Neighborhood Mitch, a former Jewish mobster who worked for the Gambinos, used to flirt with the female Schlesinger family members. But it was against the rules for an inmate to speak with another inmate’s visitors. Mitch would sometimes get kicked out of the visitors room for talking to the visitors.
In prison Naftuli’s favorite word to describe other inmates was “lowlife.” Naftuli especially hated a guy named Spitzer, who is part of a big connected Satmar family. Spitzer got busted for mortgage fraud. I believe one of his buildings burned down. Spitzer wasn’t very religious, which angered Naftuli, as they were both part of the same Satmar tribe, the same neighborhood. Naftuli was very religious. Naftuli was so religious that he removed the mezuzah from his factory door post before he set fire to his warehouse. This was used against him at trial. Naftuli hated another irreligious Satmar named Ozar, who left Williamsburg and moved to the West Coast. After Spitzer left Otsiville a number of his cousins checked in, who got busted for welfare fraud. Spitzer and Ozar were decent guys. Ozar had a bad temper but he had a great voice. He was the best chazzon I have ever heard. The guys recruited Ozar to be chazzon during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur even though it angered Naftuli because Ozar wasn’t religious. Spitzer wanted to be a street thug so he hung out with the Spanish drug dealers. Spitzer’s African American “secretary” visited him every Shabbat, while his wife visited him on Sundays. Naftuli never stopped yelling at and insulting the much younger Spitzer and Ozar. He tried to make them feel guilty about leaving the faith by telling them that he knew their families.
Naftuli spent many years in Otisville walking around the grounds of the compound picking up trash with his little hand held grip and grap. This was his prison “job.” The guards didn’t really care whether this 80 year old man did his job or not. It kept Naftuli busy. It passed the time. In the mess hall Naftuli liked to nosh on potatoes, onions and tomatoes with a bisel of meat. Naftuli slowly and carefully peeled each potato as if he was doing brain surgery. He cut up the potatoes and placed them in a plastic container with finely chopped up onions and tomatoes. He triple wrapped the container with plastic and placed it in the microwave for 5 or 10 minutes. Sometimes he put meat in his concoction. I ate dinner with him many times in the mess hall. I will admit he was a pretty good cook.
I used to write this blog while I was locked up with Naftuli. I sent my blogs to the New Haven Independent. This is what I wrote in the New Haven Independent when I was locked up with Naftuli: An 80-year-old Hasidic inmate got permission to go to a wedding accompanied by the guard who is my boss as the warehouse. Talk about an odd couple. The guard is a self proclaimed “redneck” who weighs in at about 300 pounds. The Hasid is a 100-pound ornery old man who doesn’t think much of secular Jews, or the “goyim” for that matter. The guard had to drive him to the wedding and drive him back to the prison. I asked the guard if he could bring me back some whitefish and herring. I also reminded him to make sure the inmate brought his Depends with him, you don’t want to have any accidents in the prison van. He proceeded to flip me the bird and tell me to go bleep myself. I said, “Have a nice time.”
I also wrote this blog about Naftuli in the New Haven Independent while I was locked up with him: Last night a group of guys got together in the prison shul for a kumsitz, one inmate Danny playing the acoustic guitar and guys singing. Mostly Jewish songs. A few songs from the 1960s. Danny said he composed songs for Matisyahu every now and then. He played a song that he recently submitted to Matisyahu, who may include it in his next album. He said not to repeat the song to anyone for copyright reasons, as if I would ever remember this song. Danny reserved the shul just for singing on motzei Shabbos (the hours after the Sabbath ends). He didn’t really reserve the room; he just ran it by the prison rabbi chaplain, who said, “It sounds like a good idea. Until anyone complains about it, the room is yours.” Inmates love to complain around here; no matter what you do somebody will complain about it. In the room sat an 80-year-old man who was finishing up his meal and saying his prayers for grace after meals. He was mad that the room was being taken over by a bunch of young pishers with a guitar. He said he didn’t think the chaplain approved this, and everyone should stop singing and playing the guitar. He didn’t like the songs. He also wanted all the lights back on, as the inmates turned off some of the many lights in the room. The guys said,” Fuhgetaboutit! We are not leaving,” and ignored the old man. The man calmly started to slice a banana into pieces. After he finished slicing up the banana he proceeded to throw the pieces of banana at Danny who was strumming the guitar. There were some loud words exchanged, some yelling. The 80-year-old man called Danny a “shaygetz,” among other things, and berated him for not going to services on a regular basis. Danny shot back and said the old man had no “derech eretz” for someone who is so religious.
The opinions expressed in this blog are solely the opinions of Larry Noodles and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Lawrence Dressler, Donald Trump, or Naftuli Schlesinger.
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