Israel Set To Try Guilty Plea Again

Sep 16 2008 | 7:10am ET

Samuel Israel will be back in court yet again today, and his lawyer expressed hope and doubt that it will be among his last visits.

The convicted hedge fund swindler, who admitted to defrauding investors in the Bayou Group of $450 million, will appear in White Plains, N.Y., federal court to plead guilty to charges that he skipped bail. But his lawyer warned that his treatment for painkiller addiction is still having “substantial effects” on Israel, which could postpone the guilty plea yet again.

Last month, a federal judge refused to allow Israel to plead guilty to failure to report to prison after the swindler pronounced himself “60% to 70%” competent to enter a plea. If he makes similar claims, the judge may again be forced to postpone the proceedings.

Israel was set to report to a federal prison camp west of Boston on June 9 to begin a 20-year sentence. But he allegedly faked his suicide and went on the rune, turning himself in more than three weeks later.

Israel is scheduled to appear in court at 11 a.m.

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