Israel Pleads Guilty To Bail-Jumping, Faces 10 More Years

Mar 17 2009 | 3:23am ET

More than nine months after he went on the lam, convicted hedge fund fraudster Samuel Israel has admitted that he jumped bail.

Israel pleaded guilty to failure to report to prison yesterday. His plea had been delayed three times as he underwent treatment for drug addiction and then a medical and psychological evaluation.

The Bayou Group founder, who was sentenced last April to 20 years in prison for his role in the scandal that cost investors $450 million, will be back in the White Plains, N.Y., federal courtroom on June 24 for sentencing. The 49-year-old faces as much as 10 years in prison on the bail jumping conviction; the sentences are to run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

Israel went missing on June 9, the day he was to report to prison to begin his sentence for the Bayou fraud. His sports utility vehicle was found idling on a bridge north of New York City that day with the words, “suicide is painless,” written in the dust on its hood.

Authorities never believed he had taken his life, and immediately commenced a manhunt. His girlfriend was arrested and admitted she helped him pack to go on the run, and Israel surrendered to authorities in Massachusetts three weeks later.

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