Much-Delayed Israel Bail-Jumping Plea Expected Today

Mar 16 2009 | 11:23am ET

After three attempts to plead guilty were brushed aside by a worried judge, the bizarre tale of convicted hedge fund fraudster Samuel Israel may finally reach something of a conclusion today, when he is expected to admit to bail jumping.

Israel will appear in federal court in White Plains, N.Y., today, when U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas is expected to finally allow him to plead guilty to failure to report to prison charges. The latest courtroom drama for the Bayou Group founder stems from his three weeks on the lam this summer, beginning with a faked suicide on the day he was to begin serving his 20-year sentence for bilking investors of $450 million.

Karas barred his plea at earlier hearings because Israel was undergoing treatment for painkiller addiction, inviting questions about his competence to plea. The judge ordered a psychological examination, and last month found Israel competent to stand trial.


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