66 year old Sholam Weiss was less than 20 years into his 835 year prison sentence when President Trump commuted his sentence and opened the gates of Otisville to freedom. Six weeks ago Weiss was dancing with his family in Monsey. Weiss is now under medical care. Weiss suffered a stroke. I don’t know whether it was a mini stroke or a massive stroke, but a stroke no less. A stroke is no joke.
Weiss filed a motion for compassionate release last year. His lawyers claimed that he suffered the following medical conditions while he was locked up in a Florida high security Penitentiary: “In 2004 Mr. Weiss was diagnosed with colon cancer. Parts of his intestine and his gallbladder were removed to save his life. In 2008, Mr. Weiss suffered a severe bowel obstruction. His intestines tore and began leaking bile internally. This happened in the evening, during lock-down, when there was no medical staff on hand, so he was unable to seek immediate medical attention. By the time Mr. Weiss arrived at the hospital, some 30 hours later, he was in and out of consciousness, throwing up feces and in grave physical condition. He was in serious jeopardy for three weeks fighting for his life. Doctors removed additional portions of his colon and almost gave up on him when his organs failed to function properly weeks after his surgery.”
Weiss lawyers argued that Weiss suffered while he was locked up in Otisville: “While Mr. Weiss was at the chapel, he suffered tremendous pressure and pain in his chest. He was hospitalized for three days. Doctors diagnosed Mr. Weiss with coronary artery disease, blocked arteries, and prescribed heart medications. He was advised that he would need additional stents. More recently, on August 30, 2019, Mr. Weiss experienced sudden chest tightness and reported to Health Services immediately. He was given nitroglycerin pills and aspirin. After Health Services performed an echocardiogram, Mr.Weiss was transported to the emergency room. After a series of tests, Mr. Weiss was advised that he would need another catheterization. He was prescribed an additional heart medication to add to his daily medication regime, and on September 18, 2019, he underwent a cardiac catheterization. During the surgery, Dr. Singh cleared out Mr. Weiss’s existing stents. Mr. Weiss suffers from severe shortness of breath. He struggles to walk any distance without having to stop, hold on to something, and catch his breath. Because of Mr. Weiss’s shortness of breath, he was moved to a cell closer to the dining hall at Otisville. Mr. Weiss is restricted to no sports or weightlifting, no prolonged standing, lower bunk assignment, and limitation on cardiovascular exercise. Mr. Weiss suffers hypertension, hyperlipidemia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, lipoma, Tietze’s disease, anemia, and hyperthyroidism. Mr. Weiss is on a pill regime of twelve different medications daily. Additionally, he frequently takes nitroglycerin tablets under his tongue as needed when he experiences heart related symptoms.”
The attorneys for Mr. Weiss argued that Mr. Weiss could not obtain proper medical treatment when he was taken out of Otisville because the Bureau of Prisons required that Weiss be shackled to his hospital bed: “Mr. Weiss’s incarceration made obtaining medical treatment when needed arduous
and painful for him. When Mr. Weiss is taken to a medical appointment he is restrained at all times. While in the hospital, his feet are shackled and one hand cuffed to the bed throughout his hospitalization. Given Mr. Weiss’s physical condition, this makes getting the medical treatment he needs almost unbearably painful. Indeed, as noted above, in his most recent
hospitalization, Mr. Weiss returned to Otisville rather than remaining hospitalized as his doctor recommended because of the physical hardships that hospitalization entail for him. Being out of prison will facilitate Mr. Weiss obtaining medical care more promptly and without
Weiss would rather be locked up in the Otisville medium than be shackled to a hospital bed! While I was locked up in Otisville I saw many inmates get taken to the local hospital in the town of Middletown. One inmate broke his arm while playing tennis. He was the former CEO of the hospital where he was taken to be treated. He said he was treated by one of the doctors whom he had hired while he was CEO. I was taken to the hospital after having suffered a kidney stone. It was the first time I had ever had a kidney stone. It was extremely painful. I thought I was going to die in prison. I was taken to the hospital but was not shackled to the hospital bed. The officer stood guard outside my room. I was only doing 20 months, while Weiss was doing 835 years. The hospital staff looked at me in my prison clothing with the officer guarding me as if I was Tony Soprano. I didn’t want to leave the hospital, the bed felt like Gan Eden.
Weiss’ attorneys argued that Weiss should be released in order to care for his wife: “Mr. Weiss’s wife, Goldie Weiss, is 65 years old. Due to her medical condition, Mrs. Weiss requires ongoing daily care. She has suffered from diabetes most of her adult life. Last year, she required hospitalization due to gangrene in her right foot. Part of her foot was amputated. She was hospitalized for months, and then placed in a rehabilitation facility for nearly six months. She is now back home and is confined to a wheelchair. Mrs. Weiss recently suffered a heart attack and is currently going through medical tests.”
The Justice Department objected to Weiss getting out early for compassionate release. The Government attorneys argued: “Weiss led an extensive criminal conspiracy whose goals were to: 1) enrich members of the organization by looting funds (ultimately over $250,000,000) from National Heritage Life Insurance Company; 2) launder the proceeds of the looting; and 3) deceive insurance regulators and NHLIC shareholders and customers as to the financial soundness of the NHLIC. As a result of the acts of the criminal organization, NHLIC failed. The cost to the insurance guarantee funds has exceeded $426,000,000.”
The Attorneys for the Justice Department argued that Weiss’ medical conditions were overstated: “Defendant is not suffering from a terminal illness; his colon cancer appears to be successfully treated. While he complains of bowel and abdominal complications, the only detail he provides relates to a complication that was resolved in 2008. His heart disease has been managed by the placement of stents; like many cardiac patients, he is likely to need additional stents at some point. His other reported ailments, hypertension, chronic fatigue, dizziness, hearing loss, anemia, and Tietze’s syndrome (a benign syndrome that causes swelling in the cartilage of one or more ribs; the pain usually subsides after several weeks or months, but the swelling may persist) are not terminal; do not constitute a serious medical condition or reflect a serious deterioration of Defendant’s physical health due to aging. Indeed, Weiss acknowledges that he is cleared for sedentary work duty.” Otisville is a work prison. If you say you can’t work then you get shipped off to a old age home prison and get stuck living with centenarian inmates who were bootleggers with Al Capone.”
The Justice Department argued that Weiss didn’t care much for his wife when he went on the lam for years touring Europe thumbing his nose at the Federal government: “Defendant has not demonstrated that his wife cannot care for herself or that he is her only available caregiver. As he acknowledges, she has the means to be cared for by a rehabilitation facility. Further, given his ability to only work in sedentary jobs within the BOP, it is clear that Defendant would not be an appropriate caregiver to his wife. Nor has Defendant previously acted in his wife’s best interests; he absconded from justice despite knowing that his marital home was posted as bond for his release. It is difficult to believe that Defendant will be his wife’s caretaker for the remainder of their lives considering his wife’s affidavit submitted in the forfeiture portion of this case, in which she attested that her marital relationship with Weiss ended in 1989 shortly after they moved to the Viola Road property and that Weiss rented an apartment in Manhattan where he spent the majority of his time living and working.”
The Government failed to mention that while Weiss was on the lam from the law, and from his wife, he was shacking up with strippers in Austria. Weiss was a business partner with members of Gotti family at Score’s Strip Club in Manhattan. Weiss is a devoted husband for purposes of his motion for compassionate release. Weiss is divorced for purposes of forfeiture proceedings against property he owns jointly with his wife. Who is the real Sholam Weiss? The real Sholam Weiss is Sholom ben Leah. Say a prayer for his speedy recovery.
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