Today is likely to be a very bad day for Samuel Israel.
The former CEO of the Bayou Group, the Stamford, Conn.-based hedge fund that collapsed almost three years ago, who admitted to bilking investors of some $450 million, is to be sentenced in Manhattan federal court for his role in the fraud, after the judge in the case made clear that she would not delay it any longer.
Israel’s attorneys had asked Judge Colleen McMahon to recuse herself, accusing her of being biased against their client, and arguing that Israel suffers from medical conditions that require resolution before sentencing. But in a sharply-worded order on Wednesday, McMahon said she would do no such thing, and that she expects to see Israel in her courtroom this morning.
“Mr. Israel pled guilty in 2005. It is now 2008,” McMahon wrote. “The defendant’s submissions demonstrate that his medical conditions are of long standing; he could have dealt with these matters in the two and one-half years since he entered his plea.”
“Mr. Israel will be sentenced on April 14 at 10 a.m…. There will be no adjournment of this date FOR ANY REASON WHATEVER; if Mr. Israel has back surgery between now and then and is still not ambulatory, he can be brought to his sentencing in a wheelchair.”
Israel faces as much as 30 years in prison. A presentencing investigation indicates that Israel is in danger of receiving that maximum sentence; his chief co-conspirator, former Bayou CFO Daniel Marino was handed a 20-year sentence by McMahon in January.