Michael Cohen will be turning himself in to the Otisville prison in Upstate New York on Monday. Monday is Cohen’s “self surrender” date. Cohen will be spending the next three years with Billy “Fyre Festival scammer” McFarland, Michael “the Sitch” Sorrentino, and a hundred or so white collar criminals, along with a few drug dealers. New York Assemblyman Sheldon Silver will be checking into Otisville soon, along with Moshe “Teaneck Trouble” Butler. Cohen will also be spending his time with Aleksander Efrosman, a Jewish guy from the Ukraine who was busted for a stock and commodities scam. Alek got 15 years. Alek was first locked up at Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn. Alek was transferred to the Otsiville medium where he spent a year or so. Alek was then transferred to the Otisville camp. I met Alek in Otisville when he showed up at the warehouse to get fitted for his prison uniform. The “uniform” consisted of green pants, green shirts, and a green belt. I was the prison tailor at the time. I had to shorten his pants and give him green shirts.
Alek was attacked by other inmates at MDC and was rushed to the hospital. When I first met Alek I noticed he had a huge scar that ran across the back of his neck. You could see the stitch marks. It looked as if another inmate slashed the back of Alek’s neck.
When Alek first came into the Camp he immediately hooked up with the Russian Jewish inmates. There was a large group of Russian Jews from Brighton Beach and Coney Island, Brooklyn. These “Russians” were all born in the Ukraine. Most of them were formerly in the medical field, ie., doctors, chiropractors, and therapists. They were all busted for Medicare fraud. I met a few guys named Shusterman and Shuster. Michael’s Cohen’s wife comes from a family of Ukrainian Jews. Her last name is Shusterman.
The New York Russian Jewish community is very tight. I expect that the Russian Jewish inmates will know of Cohen’s wife’s family or already know of Cohen through his business dealings in New York. Cohen had many Russian clients. They should take care of Cohen even if he did rat out President Trump. Most Russian Jews identify as Republicans and are big Trump supporters. But they know that Cohen got shafted by the Justice Department. If Cohen didn’t rat out Trump he would have been charged with 100 crimes and would have ended up getting 30 years. Inmates get mad at rats because rats cause other guys to go away for a long time. In this case nothing happened to Trump. Cohen’s cooperation with the Feds didn’t result in Trump getting indicted.
Alek Efrosman eventually settled into the Otisville camp. I got in a few fights with him but overall we got along. The inmate who was in charge of the Jewish inmates at the time was Mshulem Jacobowitz. Mshulem was the first inmate released under the First Step Act. I heard that after Mshulem left the camp Alek took over. Some guys have said that Alek ratted out other inmates to the correctional officers. Alek may be the most powerful guy in the camp if he is getting guys who cross him thrown in the SHU, ie., solitary.
If you keep to yourself nobody is going to bother you, rat or no rat. If you want to get involved in smuggling, gambling and other illegal activity nobody cares whether you are a rat. They only care whether you have money to buy their contraband or whether you are willing to risk getting into trouble smuggling stuff into the camp.
The Russian Jews in the camp may be a close group of guys but they hate rats. In the Ukraine they were treated like garbage because they were Jews. They constantly got abused by the Russian government, which employed rats all the time. The Russians in Otisville all speak Russian, watch Russian TV shows, and like to play soccer. Cohen doesn’t speak Russian or play soccer. But the Russians probably know Cohen’s wife’s family, or know of her family. I can’t see Cohen being part of the inner circle of Russian inmates but I’m sure there will plenty of guys who will befriend him.
Cohen has three years to make friends. Cohen will see many inmates come and go over those three years. The landscape in Otisville changes all the time. One day you are living with a bunch of angry guys and the next day you are living with a bunch of friendly guys. One day the officers are really nice and the next day they are ripping apart cubicles and throwing guys in the SHU (solitary).
May all the Jews, even inmates, be redeemed long before Lag B’ Omer, and long before Michael Cohen self surrenders to Otisville. Moshiach NOW!
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