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Richmond Embezzler Offers Peek Behind Bars



Richmond resident Andrew Rothenberg was sentenced to nine months in prison in January for embezzling $2.5 million from Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley. Rothenberg was Tinsley's financial adviser.

Before Rothenberg received his sentence, the 39-year-old hired a prison consultant who hooked him up with a blog, on which Rothenberg has been updating about his stay in Petersburg Federal Correctional Institute.

The blog offers a unique window into life in a minimum-security federal prison. Here are some excerpts:

On the Fourth of July: "There was a three-point contest at 11 and a free throw contest at noon. … We had a cookout after all this and ate bacon cheeseburgers, watermelon, corn, and had red velvet ice cream after. … One year from now I will be home rather than having to endure another 4th of July at FCI Petersburg. That thought helps comfort me."

On Hanging Out: "People here can just hang out. … If we wanted, we could get up whenever, go to the TV room (10 large flat screens on every floor), and watch everything from ESPN, CNN, CNBC, HBO, etc. We use the phone whenever and email whenever, workout whenever, and do whatever sport whenever except for golf. My tennis game has improved immensely as the courts are amazing."

On the Struggle: "I got up early today. It is 7:40AM and I ran 5 miles, ate breakfast and am about to play tennis. It's going to be another tough one today, I think."

On Monotony: "A bit ago, I mixed up my routine to fit in some fun things like volleyball, more tennis, some softball etc. I just needed to break up the monotonous and have some fun."

On Food: "I am used to eating organic food from Whole Foods, and this is obviously no where close."

On Flashbacks: "It's weird, I keep having flashbacks of the summer when I was under 16 years old (after that I spent most of my free time on the bay or at the beach)."

On Growing as a Person: "Being in here has made me focus on the inside of me. While I will be still continuing to grow the inside of me mentally and physically, I now have another challenge … focus!"

On Danger: "Just last weekend, 2 guys went to the infirmary after twisting their ankle in football and Frisbee golf."

On Prison Fights: "There are conservative Jews here, reform Jews (I'm reform) and Masonic Jews. Sometimes one group does not get the same amount of Matzo as the others, and I have seen major arguments over that."

On Medical Care: "In my opinion, the medical people here are people that have failed on the outside in their profession."

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