Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville

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Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville
LocationTown of Mount Hope, Orange County,
near Otisville, New York
Security classMedium-security (with minimum-security prison camp)
Population825 (110 in prison camp)
Managed byFederal Bureau of Prisons
WardenJ. Petrucci

The Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville (FCI Otisville) is a medium-security United States federal prison for male inmates located near Otisville, New York. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), 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 (110 km) northwest of New York City. It is 14 mile (400 m) from the Otisville Correctional Facility, a medium-security state prison.[1] It is 22 miles (35 km) from Monticello, New York, 28 miles (45 km) from Kiryas Joel, and 51 miles (82 km) from Monsey.[2]

Jewish Demographics[edit]

Aleph Institute's prison outreach director, Rabbi Menachem Katz, stated that the BOP "kind of unofficially designated it to meet the needs of Orthodox Jews" due to the proximity to the Jewish population of New York City.[3] Circa 2008 the warden of the prison stated 58 prisoners were Jewish, while Jewish Prisoner Services International chairperson Gary Friedman stated that about 120 prisoners were Jewish. FCI Otisville offers Passover Seders, done in the prison cafeteria. Until other prisons began offering seders, prisoners at those institutions took buses to Otisville to partake in seders. Peter Hyman of New York magazine wrote "Otisville still offers one of the more traditional Seders in the prison system."[3] Religious Jewish inmates request assignment to FCI Otisville for these reasons.[4]

Notable incidents[edit]

On August 11, 2009, former correction officer Hope Spinato (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, in briefly escaping the facility. An investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that Spinato became involved in a relationship with the inmate (not identified by the Bureau of Prisons) and drove the inmate between the facility and her home, on several occasions.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

George Jung, the basis for the 2001 film Blow, served time at FCI Otisville, but was later transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey before being released in 2017.

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 Mindy Project, nurse Morgan refers to his time in Otisville for the theft of cars with his cousin.

In 2019, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, who is famous from the MTV show Jersey Shore, was sentenced to 8 months for tax fraud.

Notable inmates (current and former)[edit]


Inmate Name Register Number Status Details
Darren Mallory Sharper 34209-034 Serving a sentence of 20 years Sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty to multiple rape and drug-related charges[6]
Billy McFarland 91186-054 Serving a sentence of 6 years Sentenced to 6 years in October 2018 after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud amounting to more than $26 million that occurred during his promotion of the fraudulent Fyre Festival music festival.[7]
Sholam Weiss 32610-054 Serving a sentence of 835 years, earliest possible release November 13, 2754.[8] 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.[9]
Dean Skelos 72196-054 Serving a sentence of 4 years and 3 months. Former New York Majority Leader of the New York State Senate convicted of public corruption.[10][11]
Michael Cohen 86067-054 Serving a sentence of 3 years Former Trump Organization lawyer. Pled guilty in 2018 tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, an excessive campaign contribution, making false statements to a congressional committee.[12][13][14]


Inmate Name Register Number Status Details
Michele Sindona 00450-054 Originally sentenced to 25 years in June 1980 but extradited on September 25, 1984 to Italy to face murder charge Sicilian banker and Propaganda Due boss with clear connections to the Mafia. Following the failure of the Franklin National Bank, was sentenced on 65 counts[15] of fraud, perjury, false bank statements and misappropriation of $45,000,000 in bank funds.[16] Was sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy in 1986 on charge of murdering lawyer Giorgio Ambrosoli[17] but committed suicide four days subsequently.
Sholom Rubashkin 10755-029 Released December 20, 2017; Originally sentenced to a 27-year sentence per presidential commutation.[18] Former CEO of Agriprocessors, once the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the United States; convicted of fraud for deceiving his lender, First Bank Business Capital, to receive loans totaling $26 million.[19][20][21]
Zvonko Bušić 03941-158 Released from custody in 2008 after serving 32 years.[22] Member of a terrorist group seeking Croatian independence from Yugoslavia; planted a bomb at Grand Central Terminal in New York City that killed NYPD officer Brian Murray and hijacked TWA Flight 355 in 1976; briefly escaped from FCI Otisville in 1987.[23][24]
Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino 66910-050 Served a sentence of 8 months; released September 2019. Sentenced to 8 months in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud in October 2018[25]
Walter Forbes 23905-050 Served a 12-year sentence; Released in 2018.[26] 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.[26]
Kenneth I. Starr 63552-054 Served a 7-year sentence; released in 2016.[27] 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.[28][29][30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FCI Otisville". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  2. ^ Tannenbaum (Rabbi), Gershon (December 24, 2014). "Jews in Prison". Five Towns Jewish Times. Retrieved October 24, 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  3. ^ a b Hyman, Peter (April 13, 2008). "Medium-Security Seder". New York magazine. Retrieved October 24, 2017. "Even so, it’s a big deal among the unfree at the medium-security federal prison in Otisville,[...]" (making it clear that this is the federal, not state, prison)
  4. ^ Hawkins, Asher (July 13, 2009). "In Pictures: America's 10 Cushiest Prisons". Forbes. Retrieved October 24, 2017. It is often requested as a destination by observant Jewish cons, thanks to its full-time rabbi and availability of kosher food.
  5. ^ "Former Correctional Officer Sentenced to Eight Months in Federal Prison for Aiding and Assisting Escape". Federal Bureau of Investigation. August 12, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Sharper sentenced to 20 years in Louisiana rape case". USA Today. August 25, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  7. ^ Alvarez, Edgar (October 11, 2018). "Creator of doomed Fyre Festival gets six-year prison sentence". Yahoo News. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  8. ^ Roberts, Daniel (July 7, 2014). "Orange is the New White-Collar". Fortune. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  9. ^ "Insurance Crooks To Serve Life - Plus - tribunedigital-orlandosentinel". Orlando Sentinel. February 16, 2000. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  10. ^ Weiser, Benjamin; Wang, Vivian (October 25, 2018). "Dean Skelos, Ex-New York Senate Leader, Gets 4 Years and 3 Months in Prison". New York Times. p. A24. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  11. ^ Fuller, Nicole (January 8, 2019). "Dean and Adam Skelos report to federal prison, officials say". Newsday. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Sisak, Michael; Mustian, Jim (May 3, 2019). "Cohen's prison reality: A bunk bed in barrack-style hall". AP. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  13. ^ Sisak, Michael R.; Mustian, Jim (May 3, 2019). "Here's a look at Michael Cohen's upcoming prison life". Boston.com / AP.
  14. ^ "Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen jailed for 36 months". BBC News. December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  15. ^ ‘Italian financier draws 25 years for bank fraud’; The Globe and Mail, June 14, 1980, p. 12
  16. ^ Firstman, Richard C.; ‘He Lived As He Died: An Enigma’; Newsday, March 23, 1986, p. 03
  17. ^ ‘Michele Sindona Gets Life Imprisonment In Murder Conspiracy’; Wall Street Journal, March 19, 1986, p. 1
  18. ^ "Trump commutes meatpacking executive's sentence, his first such use of the power". The Washington Post. December 20, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  19. ^ "Slaughterhouse Manager Convicted in Fraud Case". The New York Times. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  20. ^ "27-Year Sentence for Plant Manager". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  21. ^ "American Greed: The Slaughterhouse". CNBC. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  22. ^ Pitt, David E. (April 18, 1987). "Hijacker OF '76 T.W.A. Flight Burrows Out of Federal Prison". The New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  23. ^ "Terrorist in NYC hijacking, bombing granted parole". Usatoday.Com. July 19, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  24. ^ "US Concedes Amnesty to Zvonko Busic After 32 Years - Current Events - Croatia". Dalje.com. July 8, 2008. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  25. ^ "Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Officially Booked into Prison". TMZ. January 15, 2019. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Ex-Cendant Chairman Sentenced for Fraud". The New York Times. January 18, 2007. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  27. ^ "Corrupt Ex-Pol Now Doing Time In New York". Queens Politics. March 26, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  28. ^ "Guilty Plea in Fraud by Adviser to Stars". The New York Times. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  29. ^ "Ken Starr, Hollywood's Madoff, Gets Sentenced". Huffingtonpost.com. March 3, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  30. ^ "American Greed: Celebrity Scam Artist". CNBC. Retrieved October 14, 2013.

External links[edit]

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