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Samuel Israel III

Hedge fund manager Samuel Israel IIInot only bilked investors out of more than $300 million, he then faked his death to avoid going to prison.

Israel pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud, investment adviser fraud and conspiracy after his hedge fund, Bayou Funds, collapsed in 2005. In 2008, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, just before he was to begin serving his sentence, his SUV was found abandoned on a bridge over the Hudson River. The words “suicide is painless” were written on the hood.

Investigators quickly determined Israel was on the lam. He surrendered a month later — and had two more years added to his sentence. He is now doing time at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.

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