Judge rules Armonk swindler can enter guilty plea

Posted: Updated:

Convicted Hudson Valley stock swindler Samuel Israel III returned to court Friday for the fifth time to be charged with attempting to evade a 20-year prison sentence.

A judge had previously rejected Israel's guilty plea because the Armonk hedge fund manager had an addiction to painkillers. After months of physical and psychological evaluations, prison doctors say Israel is now fit to make a plea with a sound mind.

Israel was convicted of scamming hedge fund investors out of $500,000. Prosecutors say he tried to escape prison by abandoning his SUV on the Bear Mountain Bridge last June to make it look like a suicide.

Israel's girlfriend, Debra Ryan, pleaded guilty Feb. 10 to aiding her boyfriend in faking his suicide. Ryan is facing a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars, but a plea deal could reduce it to four to 10 months in prison.

The plea came after federal prosecutors reported having witness testimony and physical evidence proving that Ryan helped Israel in his plot. Investigators say Ryan furnished a fake suicide note and told them she did not know of Israel's whereabouts.

Israel is due back in court March 16.

Stock swindler's girlfriend appears in court Hedge fund scammer sent for medical evaluation Tax swindler back in court Stock swindler's guilty plea rejected twice Armonk stock swindler arraigned on new charges Neighbor says Armonk stock swindler not dead

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."