Michael Cohen set to head to minimum-security prison on Monday

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen heads to jail on Monday to begin serving a three-year sentence for campaign-finance violations, tax evasion, bank fraud and lying to Congress.

Cohen spent his final weekend of freedom trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy -- leaving his Manhattan apartment building on Saturday with his son to go to a coffee shop and then to a barbershop. They both got haircuts. Cohen's next stop was the pricy store Barneys New York, where he told journalists that he plans to hold a news conference Monday before heading to prison.

Cohen remains the only person charged in a scandal involving hush-money payments to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, who had threatened during the presidential campaign to speak up about alleged affairs with Trump.

Cohen started to cast himself publicly as a whistleblower less than three months after the FBI raided his home and apartment.


He gave a series of tantalizing teases that there was "more to come," starting with an interview last July in which he told ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos he was no longer loyal to Trump. More dribbled out over the next few weeks. Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, released a tape of his client and Trump discussing one of the hush-money payments.

That effort, though, largely has been met with an uncompromising approach by federal prosecutors.

New York investigators built their case for months without speaking with Cohen, then finally agreed to meet with him on a Saturday last August, just a few days before he would plead guilty.

At the meeting, they delivered an ultimatum: plead guilty or be indicted within days. Cohen also claimed after the meeting that his wife could be charged with financial crimes if he didn't cooperate.

While the president’s former attorney may be going to prison, the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York – about 70 miles northwest of New York City – is a little more posh than most other lock-ups.

“He’s going to what I like to refer to as ‘Jewish heaven,’” Larry Levine, founder of Wall Street Prison Consultants and a former inmate, told Reuters.

Jack Donson, a former manager at the prison who now runs a prison consulting firm, called the prison “a great place for white-collar Jewish guys.”


Cohen is to be housed in a dormitory-style unit in the prison's minimum-security camp, where he will have access to a full-time rabbi as well as a cafeteria serving matzo ball soup, gefilte fish and rugelach, a pastry, as well as snacks like Doritos tortilla chips and Diet Sprite.

The camp is not fenced in, and inmates are given minimal jobs including cleaning or garbage disposal.

Cohen also can expect a much easier time dealing with other inmates than he would at a more strict prison.

“You’ll find that because prisoners have such clearly defined release dates, they don’t want to do anything that could lead to them staying in prison a longer period of time,” said Justin Paperny, a former inmate who runs the consulting firm White Collar Advice.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.