The con artist who went over Bear Mountain and never came back yesterday had 300 million good reasons to want to disappear on his way to federal prison to start a 20-year sentence.
Just before his April 18 sentencing for a massive investment con, Samuel Israel was ordered to come up with $300 million in restitution to investors he fleeced, court records show.
Israel’s GMC Envoy was discovered abandoned on the Bear Mountain Bridge yesterday, with a note scrawled in pollen dust on the SUV that “suicide is painless.” Law enforcement officials think the bridge dive gambit is just Israel’s latest con.
Israel left behind a swarm of angry investors. One of them, Edward Conrads, vice president of Colchis Capital Management wrote federal Judge Colleen McMahon in December urging her to throw the book at the scamster.
Israel and his fellow con-artist Daniel Marino “literally ruined many investors’ lives by stealing their hard–earned savings for their personal gain,” wrote Conrads, adding that Israel continued to lie to the investors even after trading was halted in Israel’s Bayou Group LLC hedge fund.
Mark Crossen, executive director of RayneMark Investments, also wrote the judge relating that Israel was bragging to ex-employees that “he ‘knows’ he will never serve a single day in jail due to his current medical condition.” Crossen added that “It is staggering to think of the incredible damage that has been done by the Bayou con artists who plotted systematically to cheat, steal and deceive from those who entrusted them with a basic fiduciary duty.”