UPDATE: Feds Suspect Israel Faked Suicide

Jun 11 2008 | 1:12pm ET

Authorities believe that Bayou Group founder Samuel Israel staged his own death and is on the run.

The hedge fund fraudster was set to begin a 20-year prison term on Monday for defrauding investors of $450 million, but never showed up. 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.

State police are still searching for Israel’s body in the Hudson River, but federal officials are searching for a still-breathing fugitive.

“There’s nothing to substantiate that he killed himself,” a police source told the New York Post.

The tabloid adds that the Federal Bureau of Investigation thinks Israel was picked up and driven away from the Bear Mountain Bridge after abandoning his 2006 GMC Envoy, which was found at about 12:30 p.m. on Monday. Israel is believed to have stashed money around the world, and may have acquired a phony passport to replace the one he was forced to surrender in 2005.

The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service are actively searching for Israel, whose girlfriend said he left their home on Monday morning to meet a 2 p.m. surrender date at a federal prison in Ayer, Mass.

The “suicide note” on his hood—the title of the theme song to the classic movie and television show M*A*S*H—was surrounded by pine needles, a fact that makes police even more suspicious, the Post reports. A law enforcement source suggested to the newspaper that the words were written somewhere other than the bridge; there are no pine trees near the bridge, but more than a dozen along Israel’s Armonk, N.Y., driveway.

Surveillance videos of the bridge were inconclusive, police say. The FBI is now poring over the tapes.

RELATED STORIES

FBI, Marshals Hunt For Missing Bayou Fraudster
Bayou Group Founder A Possible Suicide
Bayou’s Israel Gets 20 Years

Bayou Group Head To Be Sentenced Today
Bayou CFO Sentenced To 20 Years For Fraud
Bayou Group Founder Gets Four Years


In Depth

Q&A: Brevan Howard’s Charlotte Valeur Talks Strategy

Sep 18 2014 | 11:18am ET

Charlotte Valeur chairs the board of Brevan Howard Credit Catalysts, an LSE listed...

Lifestyle

Hedgies Rock Out For Children's Charity

Sep 15 2014 | 8:40am ET

It's that time of year again—when hedgies trade in their spreadsheets for guitars...

Guest Contributor

Volkered: How Financial Sector Reforms are Creating Opportunities for Hedge Funds

Sep 16 2014 | 11:28am ET

New regulations have dramatically curtailed proprietary trading activity in investment...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

September 2014 Cover

The London Whale: Rogue risk management

Credit default swaps brought down the London Whale and cost JPMorgan $6.2 billion. Here is how it happened.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.