Israel Apologizes To N.Y. Hedge Fund Managers

Dec 13 2012 | 11:47am ET

Four years after he was sent to prison, the Bayou Group's Samuel Israel has emerged once again.

As with his June interview with The New York Times, in which the fraudster, who was convicted of ripping investors off to the tune of $450 million, said he'd killed some one, blamed the Central Intelligence Agency for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and said word around the prison yard was that Bernard Madoff is "not a nice dude," his latest communication with the outside is connected with a book about him released in the summer. To mark the author's appearance before the New York Hedge Fund Roundtable last week, Israel sent a letter of apology.

The simultaneously self-aggrandizing and self-pitying missive told the 150 assembled, "I am deeply ashamed to have disgraced you all by proxy. I am sorry to have tarnished the business I love."

Israel, who is serving a 22-year prison sentence—20 for fraud, two for bail-jumping—warned the people he considers colleagues against taking the "easier path" as he did.

"The price is dear, as I found out," he wrote. "Nothing is worth this. Not the embarrassment, disappointment, failure—nothing."

The letter, read by Octopus: Sam Israel, the Secret Market and Wall Street's Wildest Con author Guy Lawson, silenced the room, the New York Post reports.

"Everyone sat on the edge of their seats," Tim Selby, president of the Roundtable, said.

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