Hedge Fund Fraudster’s Girlfriend Pleads Guilty To Helping Him Run

Feb 10 2009 | 12:30pm ET

The girlfriend of convicted hedge fund fraudster Samuel Israel has pleaded guilty to helping him skip bail.

Debra Ryan changed her plea in the case this morning. She told U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas that Israel had woke her up the night before he was to report to prison in June and pleaded for her help. Ryan obliged him, helping him pack the recreational vehicle in which Israel lived for his three weeks on the lam.

Just two weeks ago, Ryan pleaded not guilty to charges that she tried to send her paramour $300 in cash while he was in the Westchester County, N.Y., jail. She faces up to 10 years in prison on the aiding and abetting a failure to report to prison conviction, although prosecutors said a 4 to 10 month term is more likely.

Ryan was arrested on June 10, a day after Israel failed to report to the same Massachusetts prison in which he is now undergoing a psychological evaluation to begin a 20-year sentence. Israel’s SUV was found idling on a bridge north of New York City with the words “suicide is painless” scrawled on the hood. Authorities quickly concluded that Israel faked his death.

Ryan reportedly confessed that she helped Israel plan his fake suicide and flight, although she has pleaded not guilty to the bail-jumping charges. According to police, Ryan admitted she helped him pack the recreational vehicle in which Israel went on the run, and helped him drop the RV off at an interstate rest area. He was apparently picked up from the bridge later on June 9 and dropped off at the rest area. Israel surrendered to authorities in Massachusetts on July 2.

Israel is now at the very same prison outside Boston he was supposed to report to eight months ago, undergoing a psychological evaluation.


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