Navillus bosses surrender themselves to their ‘cushy’ prisons today
The two prisons in which Dónal O’Sullivan and Pádraig Naughton will spend the next six months for their role in running a fraudulent payroll scheme at one of New York City’s largest construction companies have been variously described by lawyers and former inmates as “cushy”, “pretty laid back”, and “more along the lines of a camp”.
Both men have been ordered by the court to surrender at their respective prisons before 2pm (US time) today, Monday.
Father of six Mr O’Sullivan, aged 62, a native of Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry, will present at FPC (Federal Prison Camp) Pensacola, Florida, while father of two Mr Naughton, aged 52, originally from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, will do time at FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) Fort Dix, New Jersey.
FCI Fort Dix holds 4,000 prisoners and there are no bars, towers, or locks on rooms within community units.
It is divided into two compounds, with prisoners assigned to individual housing units, that hold 350 prisoners each. Originally designed as a military barracks, part of the army base was converted into a federal prison in the early 1990s.
FPC Pensacola is a much smaller facility with capacity for 500 prisoners. It is located about 96km east of Mobile, Alabama, and 32km north-west of Pensacola Beach, Florida, in Escambia County. It was established in 1988 as part of a mutual agreement between the US navy and the Bureau of Prisons, and inmates provide the navy with a free workforce, predominantly grounds maintenance and common labour.
The environments in which Mr O’Sullivan and Mr Naughton will find themselves today are a far cry from the lives they led as president and CEO of Navillus (Mr O’Sullivan, until he stepped down following his arrest in 2020) and financial comptroller (Mr Naughton, who also stood down in 2020).
Mr O’Sullivan will be apart from his six children, Jack, Donal Jr, Katie, Caroline, Mikey, and Kelly, aged from late teens to late 20s.
Mr Naughton will be apart from his Venezuelan-born wife of 20 years and his two teenage children. Both Mr Naughton and his wife are American citizens. Mr Naughton came to the US over 25 years ago on a Morrison visa, and worked his way up through Navillus, from unskilled manual labour to head of its accounting functions. He had a degree in accounting, obtained at Athlone Institute of Technology.
Both men were described in court documents as very close to their families. One court document describes how Mr Naughton’s wife and children “remain traumatized” by the events of June 30, 2020, when “armed federal agents in bulletproof vests” arrived at dawn and arrested him at home in front of his wife and children.
Mr O’Sullivan’s relationship with his children is outlined in letters sent to the court in support of the Kerryman prior to his sentencing — his children “idolize him” and “his world revolves around them”.
Both men also remain close to their families in Ireland, making regular trips home. Mr O’Sullivan was in Ireland last September, when the court permitted him to travel to visit his elderly mother and aunt in Ballinskelligs.
Both men received huge support from Irish friends and relatives in the form of hundreds of letters to the court ahead of sentencing last June. The judge, Pamela K Chen, remarked that it was “perhaps the most [letters] I have ever received”.