Bayou Hedge Fund Victims Recoup Another $31 Million

Jul 17 2013 | 4:26am ET

It may be a drop in the bucket for some of the biggest losers, but victims of the Bayou hedge fund fraud have received another $31 million.

The money includes approximately $2 million seized from a bank account in Singapore and $1 million seized from a bank account in the United Kingdom. This brings the total value of the forfeited assets distributed to Bayou fraud victims to over $128 million.

U.S. Attorney Bharara stated, “This return of money to Bayou fraud victims underscores the power and flexibility of forfeiture as a tool to help victims of major financial crimes. It also demonstrates our commitment to working with foreign governments to pursue and seize criminal proceeds that are transferred into offshore accounts.”

Samuel Israel, Daniel Marino, and James Marquez were each convicted of defrauding investors by inducing them to invest in the various Bayou hedge funds and creating fake financial statements. These statements falsely represented that the Bayou hedge funds were profitable, when, in fact, they were sustaining substantial losses. As a result, the total loss to investors was approximately $300 million.

Israel and Marino were sentenced to 20 years in prison, while Marquez was sentenced 51 months in the pokey.

Bayou Group founder Israel famously staged his own death following his conviction. He was supposed to report to prison, but instead he went on the lamb. His SUV was found on a bridge 40 miles north of New York City with the words “suicide is painless” etched into the dust on its hood. Three weeks later he walked into a police station and surrendered.

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