A car abandoned that is registered to a hedge-fund swindler who was supposed to report to federal prison was found on the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson River, near West Point and about 40 miles north of New York City. On its hood, etched into the dust and pollen, were the words “Suicide is Painless,” the name of the theme of the classic “MASH” television show. The song was sung during the original movie. The car, a 2006 GMC Envoy, was registered to Samuel Israel III of Armonk.
Investigator Bruce Cuccia said suicide has not been established, no corpse has been found and no one saw a suicide jump. As a result, the FBI has joined the investigation and a search is under way.
No other note was found, Cuccia said. The police have not been able to reach Israel, in part due to the fact that no home telephone number was listed for him.
Israel had been sentenced in April to 20 years in federal prison for illegally getting investors to put more than $450 million into now-collapsed hedge funds and was ordered to pay back $300 million to his victim-investors.
Judge Colleen McMahon called him the mastermind of the scheme and said the prison term was meant to show that “people who commit crimes while wearing a tie do not get a break”, and set Monday as the deadline for Israel to surrender at the federal prison in Ayer, Mass at 2 p.m. State police aircraft and boats from the Westchester and Rockland county police searched the Hudson River and the boats resumed the search Tuesday morning. No sign of him so far.