News by VICE

Michael Cohen's Prison Doesn't Sound Half Bad

A former inmate tells us what it's like in there.

by Jaclyn Skurie
May 11 2019, 12:57pm

Larry Noodles figures Michael Cohen will be OK at Otisville. That’s the federal prison where Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer just started his three-year sentence for tax evasion and campaign finance violations. And Larry — real last name: Dressler — probably knows more about Otisville than anyone.

The Otisville Federal Correctional Institute, located about 80 miles north of midtown Manhattan in the Catskill Mountains, has a particular distinction: It’s got the largest population of white-collar Jewish criminals of any federal prison. Dressler did 18 months there for mortgage fraud, kept a diary every day of his stay, and still runs a gossip blog about the prison under his prison nickname, Larry Noodles (he smuggled in pasta from the warehouse where he worked).

To hear him tell it, the place isn’t half bad for Jewish inmates like him and Cohen: There’s Shabbat services, monthly trips to a Mikvah bath, and Kosher commissary options like gefilte fish and rugelach.

"I think with Michael Cohen... well, according to the inmate code, you’re not allowed to give advice to someone who is quote-unquote a rat. But I don’t think they would give him too hard of a time. Because they know he is high-profile," Dressler said.

VICE News interviewed the former Otisville inmate about what Cohen can expect at this special upstate slammer.

This segment originally aired May 3, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.