Hedge Fund Swindler Gets Extra Prison Time

Sam Israel faked his suicide and went on the lam last year

Hedge-fund swindler Samuel Israel III will spend an extra two years in prison for trying to skip out on serving his 20-year sentence for fraud.

Federal Judge Kenneth Karas in White Plains, N.Y., blasted Israel at sentencing Wednesday for "thumbing his nose at the system."

The 49-year-old Israel admitted that he went on the lam in June rather than serve his 20-year stretch for bilking millions from investors.

Israel, a co-founder of the Stamford, Conn.-based Bayou hedge funds, has never denied that he faked his suicide and took off in an RV for nearly a month before surrendering in Southwick, Mass.

In court, Israel apologized for the stunt.

The prison term begins after he serves his first 20 years.

The defense had sought 12 extra months for the suicide-fake out. Federal guidelines called for 12 to 18 months. Karas indicated last week he wanted to make an example of Israel.

The judge agreed that Israel, 49, may not live out his sentence, and said his health issues were part of the reason Israel had been allowed to surrender on his own for the 20-year prison stretch. He said Israel "took advantage of that gesture ... and tried to useit to his advantage by fleeing.''

Karas also noted that Israel's decision to take off was not done on impulse: he had bought a motor home, packed it with supplies and even had it inspected before his prison date.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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