With No Body, Cops Doubt NY Banker's Suicide

'He's dead as far as I can throw him,' skeptic says of fraudster
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2008 11:31 AM CDT
Samuel Israel III, the former CEO of Bayou Group, arrives at Manhattan federal court for his sentencing, Monday, April 14, 2008, in New York.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
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(Newser) – An international manhunt is now under way for a former hedge-fund manager who disappeared the day he was to begin serving a prison sentence for defrauding investors. A car belonging to Samuel Israel III was found Monday at a bridge over New York's Hudson River, the Wall Street Journal reports; though bodies of suicide jumpers are normally found quickly, there's no sign of Israel.

"No witnesses saw anybody jump from the bridge, and there's no evidence that he did," a police investigator said of Israel, 48, who was to begin serving a 20-year sentence for scamming investors out of $400 million. "He's dead as far as I can throw him," said one investor burned by the 2005 collapse of Bayou Management—a seemingly common sentiment.