Disappearing Swindler Pleads Guilty

He stole millions of dollars from his clients of a Stamford-based Bayou hedge fund and on Monday months after faking his suicide Samuel Israel admitted he went on the run to avoid reporting to prison. 

Samuel Israel, III, told the judge in White Plains, NY that he knew he was supposed to surrender on June 9 and understood he was breaking the law when he did not show up.    Israel, 49, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of failing to surrender.
 
Prosecutors said the co-founder of the hedge fund abandoned his SUV on the Bear Mountain Bridge north of New York City, etched “Suicide is Painless” into the dust on the hood, and took off.   Investigators checked the Hudson River or a body and also launched a manhunt. They learned later he had loaded an RV with clothing and a scooter and gone on the lam.
 
On July 2, he was surrendered at a Southwick, Massachusetts, police station. He returned to Manhattan and his bail was revoked.
 
Israel faces as many as 10 years on top of the 20-year term he received for bilking hundreds of million of dollars from investors.
 
Sentencing is June 24.
 
Israel’s girlfriend, Debra Ryan, 45, of Armonk, has pleaded guilty to helping him and is awaiting sentencing. She’s also accused of trying to send him $300 in cash while he was in jail by hiding the money in the pages of a magazine.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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