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Episode 25: Suicide is Painless

Case File

Sam Israel III
An enigmatic hedge fund manager desperate to succeed; and the scam that bilked investors out of $300 million. Sam Israel lived through the most decadent era in human history. His hunger for fame and fortune, his greed, ultimately lead to a bridge and a suicide note.

Suicide is Painless

  • The Toast of Wall Street
  • Samuel Israel III and his company Bayou Funds LLC are riding high as the DOW explodes, technology stocks are the rage and savvy investor money is everywhere. Israel's friendly, outgoing personality easily convinces clients to invest.
  • Fall From Grace
  • Bayou Funds investments fall short. The company is losing millions. Sam Israel is desperate to succeed. He'll do anything – including breaking the law – to ensure Bayou survives. Sam Israel III is perhaps one of the most unlikely con artists ever to take Wall Street for a ride!
  • The Con Man is Conned
  • A desperate Sam Israel becomes himself the perfect bait and soon the smooth talking con man will be taken for almost everything. His world collapses. Israel's hedge fund company is gone and so is his family. And, hundreds of millions of dollars of investor's money has disappeared.
  • The FBI steps in and quickly discovers Israel is not only a victim...he's also a criminal.
  • Suicide is Painless
  • Police find Sam Israel's car on a bridge with three haunting words on it "Suicide is Painless." But, his body is nowhere to be found. It's only the latest detour in the wild ride of Sam Israel.

Web Extras

  • Suicide is Painless: The Fall of Samuel Israel III Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010 | 4:11 PM ET
    Samuel Israel was a big money hedge fund manager desperate to succeed. He lived through the most decadent era in human history, and his hunger for fame and fortune — his greed — ultimately led to a scam that bilked investors out of $300 million.This is the strange story of a con artist who eventually fell for the ultimate con himself!

    Hedge fund manager Samuel Israel lived through the most decadent era in human history, and his greed ultimately led to a suicide note…and a scam that bilked investors out of $300 million.

  • Sam Israel III     Tuesday, 2 Feb 2010 | 12:00 AM ET

    Hedge fund manager Sam Israel was desperate to succeed and his scam bilked investors out of $300 million dollars.

  • Sam Israelâ??s Victim     Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010 | 12:00 AM ET

    Listen to investor John Siegesmund describe the letter he wrote to Israelâ??s judge prior to sentencing.

  • Sam Israel III     Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010 | 12:00 AM ET

    Listen to FBI Financial Analyst Kevin Walsh describe the Federal Reserve Box.

  • Back From the Dead: Fake Death Failures Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010 | 2:31 PM ET
    It is assumed that people have faked their own deaths for centuries, some more successfully than others. But getting away with it these days, with the Internet, tightened international security and heightened difficulty in creating false documents, seems nearly impossible. Some folks still seem to think they can get away with it, though, particularly when there's money involved. Here, we take a look at some of the more interesting cases of people who tried to fake their own death, many in an eff

    Here, we take a look at some of the more interesting cases of people who tried to fake their own death, many in an effort to avoid debt or reap financial gain.

American Greed Showtimes

AMERICAN GREED MARATHON FRIDAY!
Friday, April 18th 12p – 6p ET
12p ET AG #79
The Lady Killer
1p ET AG #82
Young Lust Goes Bust
4p ET AG #81
Murder in Memphis
The Prisoner of Wall Street
Saturday, April 19th 1a, 3a ET/PT
$udden Death/ Hip Hop Hustle
Sunday, April 20th 1a, 3a ET/PT
Check the U.S. TV schedule for additional showtimes.
#AmericanGreed

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