Goldman, Still Playing in Bayou’s Mud

THE story of the Bayou Group, the hedge fund firm that collapsed in a whirl of lies and drugs, was always a little weird. But it just keeps getting weirder.

You may recall Bayou — or at least its founder-turned-con man, Samuel Israel III. To the world, Mr. Israel was a trading whiz. Then, one August afternoon in 2005, the police responded to a 911 call from Bayou’s offices in Stamford, Conn., and found a note explaining how he had perpetrated a giant fraud.

Mr. Israel, it turned out, wasn’t managing a hedge fund at all. He was running a Ponzi scheme — a small-time version of the Madoff racket that, at that very moment, was still going strong. Mr. Israel, who said he’d become addicted to painkillers, was later sentenced to 20 years in prison — then two more for jumping bail, faking his suicide and going on the lam. His abandoned vehicle was found on the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson River, the words “suicide is painless” written in the dust on the hood.

Read on.

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