Sheldon Silver’s conviction for corruption was overturned by a three judge panel on the Second Circuit. Silver was convicted by a jury back in November of 2015. This 72 year old man was sentenced to 12 years in jail a few months later. Judge Caprioni “designated Federal Corrections Facility Otisville Camp” for Mr. Silver. Silver filed an appeal. Judge Cabranes, on the Appellate Court, just wrote a decision overturning the conviction. The Feds have vowed to indict Silver again and have another trial.
After the sentence was handed down an angry citizen sent an anonymous letter to Judge Caprioni criticizing the judge for sending Silver to a “cushy prison environment that is highly favored for the ‘chosen people’ Orthodox Jews.” This coward refused to sign his name and blamed Silver for the eviction of his mother. The letter stated: “my mother lost her apartment because of the crooked judges (same tribe) in the Housing Court, who were influenced by Sheldon Silver and his gang… No matter how cushy a prison is horny Silver will not have access to cheap motels for illicit sex with his mistresses outside of marriage.”
If your sentence is over 10 years you need special permission to get a table in the Otisville mess hall. Silver got a twelve year sentence and was granted this waiver. Herman Jacobowitz got a 15 year sentence and was also granted this waiver. Jacobowitz and his brothers were running one of the largest healthcare supply companies in the New York area, called Allou. They ran the company into the ground. The Feds charged them with lying to investors in order to cash in on an inflated stock price. Pump and dump. They all ended up at the Otisville prison camp.
Herman had to request a waiver to get into Otisville because his sentence was 15 years. In his request Jacobowitz argued to the judge that Bernie Ebbers from Worldcom got the waiver even though he got a 25 year sentence. He also pointed out that Sanjay Kumar got the waiver even though he got a 12 year sentence for causing $2 billion in losses. If you just got sentenced to over ten years and wish to spend the next decade of your life living it up in the Otisville asylum, save your money on attorneys fees and download the letter the lawyer for Jacobowitz prepared for free. Cut and paste your own personal information, and you will be all set. No need to thank Larry Noodles, just a free public service provided to fellow convicts.
I would not consider Otisville to be “cushy” compared to other prisons. I heard that at other Federal facilities prisons you can purchase cell phones, ipods, and even tablets, that are smuggled in. Otisville was not cell phone friendly. The compound was small with only about 100 guys. The guys were living on top of each other, with guards in your face. In larger Federal compounds you would have about 400 guys with only a few guards. In Otisville you had 100 guys with guards coming and going at all hours. They only left you alone at night. But most guys were in bed at night, as the guards would wake you up at 6 in the morning. Plus many guys tried to curry favor with the boys in blue. The Head Blueboy in charge, Scalboni, used to say, “I don’t need video cameras, I got 100 set of eyeballs watching this place.”
Eventually guys living under these conditions get on each other’s nerves and have mental breakdowns. They either get into fights, or get into trouble with the blueboys for trying to smuggle contraband into the camp. Usually the contraband is nothing more than cigarettes, prescription drugs, or food, yet the blue boys treat it as if is the crime of the century. Nobody tries to smuggle in a weapon, what’s the point? When you get into trouble you get shipped out to another facility. Usually guys get shipped out to Fort Dix.
There were a number of prominent New York politicians locked up with me. Heshy Tishler was a heavy set wheeler dealer from Boro Park. He was locked up for immigration fraud, ie., helping illegals get their working papers with phony jobs. Heshy was checking out of Otisville when I first checked in. When Heshy gave his parting speech he said he wanted to be buried in the prison clothes he wore every Shabbos. He told a story about a Rebbe who wore priest clothing in order to raise money for poor Jews. The Rebbe was buried in the priest uniform, as the clothing became holy. Heshy said he felt the same way about his Shabbos prison clothes.
On Shabbos everyone had to wear a white long sleeve shirt and grey sweatpants. No green Federal issued uniform. This was a Jewish inmate rule that was strictly enforced by the Jewish inmates. I didn’t realize this rule when I first came in. I was admonished for wearing my greens on Shabbos. The inmates told me that ignorance of the law was no excuse. The inmates were worse than the Feds!
When Heshy left, Inmate Rabbi Pinter gave his weekly Shabbos speech about Heshy. Pinter said that Heshy thought that he was the one pushing the buttons and getting things done in Brooklyn all these years. Now he realizes that it is the Creator who really runs the world, even Brooklyn. G-d was fixing all the potholes in Brooklyn.
Eventually the old inmates left and new guys came in who didn’t like Pinter’s weekly speeches. They felt he was giving too much mussar. Pinter was banned from speaking for a while. He acted like he didn’t care, but you knew it bothered him.
I heard that Heshy is back in Boro Park wheeling and dealing. I also heard that when he first got out he went on the radio and had a weekly show where he talked about Otisville. Some guys were listening to his show up in Otisville. Big Sal Romano was not a big fan of Heshy. He thought Heshy was too loud and annoying. Many guys felt the same.
I never had a problem with Heshy. He gave me some old sneakers when I first came in. They were too big and the soles were worn out, but I didn’t have many options at the time. I don’t think he even charged me, but then again, you couldn’t give those things away. He probably found them in the dumpster.