Armonk stock swindler arraigned on new chargesPosted: Updated:
A convicted stock swindler who tried to outsmart authorities now faces an additional 10 years behind bars.
Samuel Israel III, 48, was scheduled to start a 20-year prison sentence on June 9 in Massachusetts. On the morning his sentence was set to begin, police said Israel faked suicide and made a run for it, disappearing for three weeks. However, authorities were convinced that he was still alive and released a wanted poster.
On Wednesday, Israel surrendered to a police officer in Massachusetts. A day later, Israel was arraigned in lower Manhattan and charges were upgraded. After the judge greeted Israel, she immediately forfeited his $500,000 bail.
During the arraignment, Israel told the judge that he really did try to commit suicide Tuesday by overdosing on 200 prescription pills and the balance of Fentanyl patches he used for severe back pain. However, instead of dying, Israel said he fell into a drug-induced sleep. When he awoke on Wednesday, he claimed he decided to turn himself in. ?I woke up a little battered and bruised, and I guess God didn?t want that to happen, so I turned myself in,? he said.
FBI agents from White Plains said they?re not sure if Israel really tried to kill himself. They?ve known Israel for four years and said they aren?t sure he would really attempt suicide. They said they knew Israel had stocked up on his medication before he ran away, so they knew it would only be a matter of time before he turned up.
Defense attorneys waived the right to a preliminary hearing, meaning the case will go to a grand jury within the next 30 days.
Throughout the arraignment, Israel maintained a relaxed mood. Insiders said he greeted the FBI agents in the front row and winked at them. The agents seemed to enjoy Israel?s demeanor, and said that it pays to be a likeable guy when you?re a con man.
The new charges against Israel were not read in court, but when all is said and done, Israel could face an additional 10 years behind bars. That is in addition to the 20 years he was sentenced to in April for committing fraud, conspiracy and scamming $450 million from investors.
Emergency workers react to the Israel case
Armonk stock swindler in custody, authorities say