NEW YORK (CN) – Samuel Israel, the former hedge fund executive convicted of swindling investors out of $450 million, tried to duck his 20-year sentence by leaving left his car on a bridge north of New York City in a staged attempt to commit suicide, according to an affidavit filed by the U.S. Marshal Service.
Israel, chief executive officer of the defunct Bayou Hedge Fund, plead guilty to investment advisor fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit investment advisor fraud and mail fraud in September, 2005. Judge Colleen McMahon sentenced Israel to 20 years in April, 2008, with an order to surrender on June 9, 2008. But on June 9, “Israel left his car at Bear Mountain Bridge in the vicinity of Cortlandt, New York, and did not surrender to authorities as ordered,” according to the complaint.
Israel left a short note scrawled in the dust of the car’s hood: “suicide is painless,” according to the LA Times. Authorities dredged the river and declared the suicide to be another fraud. After nearly a month on the lam, Israel surrendered on July 2, when he rode a scooter into a Massachusetts police station.