Michael Cohen’s new home at Otisville prison is just 70 miles from Manhattan, but a long way from Park Avenue
As prison nicknames go, Larry Noodles wasn’t the toughest tag in lockup. The federal inmate earned his moniker smuggling spiral pasta from his job at the correctional facility warehouse to his prison bunk.
He has since earned another reputation — inside authority on the Otisville Correctional Institution, where former presidential fixer Michael Cohen checked in Monday to serve three years on campaign finance violation charges.
Lawrence Dressler, who served two years at the Orange County prison on mortgage fraud conspiracy charges, says Cohen, despite ratting out a sitting President, should fit right in.
“They should be pretty good to him,” said Dressler, who writes a blog about the upstate New York prison and his experiences there. “It’s a lot of drama in there. It’s like high school. People get on each other’s nerves.”
Even though Cohen testified against President Trump — he called his former boss a “racist,” a “con man,” and a “cheat” — Cohen’s rat status won’t earn him too many prison enemies because his testimony didn’t result in a Trump indictment, Dressler said.[
“No one went to jail because of it, so it’s not so bad,” Dressler said.
Cohen’s biggest battle will be with boredom. Dressler, a tailor during his prison stint, said the first month or so in the prison are rough.
The dormitory-style prison camp is a sought-after destination for inmates convicted of white-collar crimes. Cohen, 53, has been sentenced for tax violations, bank fraud and campaign finance violations, for buying the silence of two women who claimed they once had affairs with Trump.
FCI Otisville, one of “America’s 10 cushiest prisons” according to Forbes, has long catered to Jewish offenders like Cohen, and offers a kosher kitchen and the services of a rabbi.
“It’s not the best food,” Dressler said. “Everybody loses weight. There’s always a black market for food.”
Dressler said the large Jewish population helps keep order.
“These are not tough guys, for the most part,” Dressler said. “It’s a lot of psychological harassment. You never disclose your personal info right away in case they use it against you. They try to get under your skin.
“There’s usually one guy who tries to keep the peace. There was one guy who had a problem with me. He threw water at me. I got them to tell him to cool it.”[
Dressler said Cohen, who arrived shortly after noon, was likely strip searched and put in a holding cell for several hours. After the intake process is over, inmates are given green prison scrubs and a bag with a pillow and a blanket.