Meet Larry Levine, prison consultant. The man who teaches the super-rich how to survive supermax.
Why should I trust him? Because Larry has previous. And plenty of it. Former “efficiency expert” for the Mob. Former guest of 11 federal correctional institutions. Still a man you wouldn’t want to cross.
What did he do? You going to ask this many questions inside? Listen to Larry. Larry says: “Running your mouth in prison gets you a knife.”
Was he innocent? Larry puts it like this: “The prosecutor said I was killing people for the Mafia. Dropping them in the ocean. Killed one guy in Mexico and attended his funeral. All this crazy shit.”
So did he? 1843 put this question to Larry. Larry replied: “If you ask me ‘You really kill these people?’ I’d say: whaddayou think?” At which point 1843 thought it wise to move on.
Why would I need him? Naturally you say you didn’t do it, says Larry. In his experience white-collar criminals “are all innocent. They say: I didn’t do this.” To which Larry says: “OK, sure.” Then he tells them how not to get stabbed in the shower.
What are his top tips? Don’t cut in line. Don’t reach across someone’s food tray. Don’t switch channels on the telly without asking. Larry watched someone do this and another inmate promptly “stabbed him to death and killed him”. We all feel like that occasionally when “Love Island” is on.
Anything else? Above all, don’t borrow anything. Ever. Not shower shoes. Not shampoo. Nothing. “You don’t want to owe anyone in prison,” says Larry. “Because there is more than one way to pay your bill.”
I’m starting to feel anxious… If you want flattery, go to your lawyer. If you want honesty, go to Larry. “I don’t lie,” he says. “I don’t bullshit.” People, he admits, “cry”. But Larry is adamant. “I’m going to tell people what they don’t want to hear. But this is the truth.”
What if I can’t handle the truth? Too bad. Larry’s other tip is to “keep your mouth shut”: fellow inmates “don’t want to hear your shit”. White-collar criminals are out soon anyway. Larry says he probably “did more time on the toilet than the entire sentence you’re going to serve”.
Why should I trust him? Think of it as your own personal prisoner’s dilemma. Just one where the wrong answer could get you dead in the TV room, rather than a bad mark on your economics paper.
How much does he charge? Like Vito Corleone, Larry is gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse – usually $5,000 to $7,000.
They say: Having convicted him of narcotics trafficking, securities fraud and multiple counts of machine-gun possession, the Feds described him as the “supermarket of crime”.
He says: “I empower people. I’m a certified life coach. I’m a cross between a priest and a marriage counsellor.”•