Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville

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Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville
Location Town of Mount Hope, Orange County,
near Otisville, New York
Status Operational
Security class Medium-security (with minimum-security prison camp)
Population 1,050 (115 in prison camp)
Opened 1977
Managed by Federal Bureau of Prisons
Warden Monica Recktenwald

The Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville (FCI Otisville) is a medium-security United States federal prison for male inmates near Otisville, New York. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. It also includes a satellite prison camp for minimum-security male offenders.

FCI Otisville is located in southeastern New York State, near the Pennsylvania and New Jersey borders, and 70 miles northwest of New York City. It is a quarter mile from the Otisville Correctional Facility, a medium-security state prison.[1]

Notable incidents[edit]

August 11, 2009, Hope Spinato, a former correction officer assigned to FCI Otisville, was sentenced to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to aiding and assisting an inmate serving a 17-year drug trafficking sentence briefly escape from the facility. An FBI investigation found that Spinato became involved in a relationship with the inmate, whom the Bureau of Prisons did not identify, and drove the inmate out of the facility to her home and back on several occasions.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

George Jung, the basis for the 2001 film Blow, served time at FCI Otisville, but has since been transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

In the Spike Lee film 25th Hour, the protagonist Montgomery "Monty" Brogan spends his final day commiserating with friends and family before reporting to Otisville for a seven-year sentence.

In the opening of the 2010 film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to the 1987 film Wall Street, Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, is released after serving an eight-year sentence for insider trading and securities fraud for his actions as a corporate raider in the first movie. Although the scene was actually shot at Sing Sing state prison, Gekko mentions in the film that he served his sentence at FCI Otisville.

In the Fox sitcom The Mindy Project, Morgan Tookers, played by Ike Barinholtz, is a nurse at Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling)'s obstetric practice. As a teenager, he was incarcerated in Otisville prison for motor vehicle theft. He was hired to replace the former nurse Beverly after he fixes Mindy's broken nose. He has a tattoo across his abdomen that reads "No More Stealing Cars".

Notable inmates (current and former)[edit]

†The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 eliminated parole for federal inmates. However, inmates sentenced for offenses committed prior to 1987 are eligible for parole consideration.[3]


Inmate Name Register Number Status Details
Sholam Weiss 32610-054 Serving a life sentence.[4] Convicted in 2000 of fraud, racketeering and money laundering for stealing $450 million from the now-defunct Heritage Life Insurance Corporation between 1990 and 1998; the story was featured on the CNBC television program American Greed.[5]
Sholom Rubashkin 10755-029 Serving a 27-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2033.[6] Former CEO of Agriprocessors, once the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the US; convicted of fraud for deceiving his lender, First Bank Business Capital, to receive loans totaling $26 million; the story was featured on the CNBC television show American Greed.[7][8][9]
Kenneth Ira Starr 63552-054 Serving a 7-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2016.[10] Former financial adviser for Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese and Sylvester Stallone; pleaded guilty in 2010 to fraud and money laundering for diverting $33 million of his clients’ money to pay for personal expenses; the story was featured on the CNBC program American Greed.[11][12][13]
Shahawar Siraj 63283-053 Serving a 30-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2030.[14] Pakistani citizen and New York City resident; convicted of terrorism conspiracy in 2006 for masterminding a foiled plot to bomb the 34th Street - Herald Square subway station in New York City in 2004.[15]
Walter Forbes 23905-050 Serving a 12-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2018.[16] Former Chairman of Cendant Corporation convicted in 2007 of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false statements for masterminding the largest accounting fraud of the 1990s; Forbes was also ordered to pay $3.275 billion in restitution.[16]
Derrick Donchak 67863-067 Serving a 9-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2018.[17] Convicted in 2010 of civil rights violations in connection with the fatal beating of Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez in 2008; accomplice Brandon Piekarsky is also serving a 9-year sentence. Both were acquitted of felony charges in state court in 2009.[18]


Inmate Name Register Number Status Details
Zvonko Busic 03941-158 Released from custody in 2008 after serving 32 years.[19] Member of a terrorist group seeking Croatian independence from Yugoslavia; planted a bomb at Grand Central Terminal in New York City which killed NYPD officer Brian Murray and hijacked TWA Flight 355 in 1976; briefly escaped from FCI Otisville in 1987.[20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FCI Otisville". Bop.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  2. ^ "Former Correctional Officer Sentenced to Eight Months in Federal Prison for Aiding and Assisting Escape". Federal Bureau of Investigation. August 12, 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "History of The Federal Parole System". US Department of Justice. 
  4. ^ Roberts, Daniel (July 7, 2014). "Orange is the New White-Collar". npr.org. NPR. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Insurance Crooks To Serve Life - Plus - tribunedigital-orlandosentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 2000-02-16. Retrieved 2015-10-25. 
  6. ^ Mehaffey, Trish (March 31, 2014). "Sholom Rubashkin transferred to Otisville federal prison". The Gazette (Eastern Iowa). Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "Slaughterhouse Manager Convicted in Fraud Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  8. ^ "27-Year Sentence for Plant Manager". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  9. ^ "American Greed: The Slaughterhouse". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  10. ^ "Corrupt Ex-Pol Now Doing Time In New York". Queens Politics. March 26, 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "Guilty Plea in Fraud by Adviser to Stars". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  12. ^ "Ken Starr, Hollywood's Madoff, Gets Sentenced". Huffingtonpost.com. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  13. ^ "American Greed: Celebrity Scam Artist". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  14. ^ "DATA & GRAPHICS: Population Of The Communications Management Units". npr.org. NPR. March 3, 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Man Gets 30 Years in Subway Bomb Plot". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  16. ^ a b "Ex-Cendant Chairman Sentenced for Fraud". The New York Times. January 18, 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Bortner, Peter E. (June 19, 2012). "Donchak, Piekarsky to stay in prison". The Standard Speaker. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  18. ^ "Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky, convicted in immigrant's death, each sentenced to nine years in prison". lehighvalleylive.com. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  19. ^ Pitt, David E. (April 18, 1987). "HIJACKER OF '76 T.W.A. FLIGHT BURROWS OUT OF FEDERAL PRISON". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  20. ^ "Terrorist in NYC hijacking, bombing granted parole". Usatoday.Com. 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  21. ^ "US Concedes Amnesty to Zvonko Busic After 32 Years - Current Events - Croatia". Dalje.com. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°29′47″N 74°31′38″W / 41.49639°N 74.52722°W / 41.49639; -74.52722