Hedge fund fraudster 'attempted suicide'

4 July 2008

Samuel Israel III, the ex-hedge fund manager who went on the run following his conviction for fraud, explained his actions yesterday to a New York court.

The former head of Bayou Group stole hundreds of millions of dollars from investors by falsifying profits and audits - and went missing on the day he was due to begin serving his sentence last month after parking his car near the Hudson river and writing "suicide is painless" in the dust on the bonnet.

Mr Israel turned himself in to police near Boston, Massachussets yesterday after almost four weeks on the run.

Speaking in court, he said that he had made a failed suicide attempt on Tuesday by taking a deliberate overdose of painkillers.

"I thought it was better to do myself in than turn myself in," he said.

"I was unsuccessful."

Prosecutors indicate that Mr Israel is to face an extra ten years in prison, in addition to his 20-year fraud sentence, for jumping bail.

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