Swindler Israel gets 2-year sentence for bail-jumping

on July 15 2009 11:56 AM

Hedge fund swindler Samuel Israel was ordered to serve two more years behind bars on Wednesday for a wild escapade in which he faked his own death in an attempt to avoid a 20-year prison sentence.

Israel's vanishing act in June 2008 sparked an intense manhunt, after his abandoned car was found on a New York bridge with a suicide note scrawled in dust on the vehicle's hood. He surrendered after less than a month on the run.

The two-year sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas in White Plains will be in addition to the two decades that Israel was ordered to serve in April 2008 for fraud. Prosecutors say Israel bilked investors at collapsed hedge fund Bayou Management LLC out of about $450 million.

Israel, 49, must serve the sentences consecutively, meaning his total prison term adds up to 22 years. He has already served about one year of his fraud sentence.

(Reporting by Chavon Sutton; writing by Martha Graybow; Editing by Derek Caney)

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