U.S. Department of Justice Marshals

Marshals Say Israel's Girlfriend Helped Plan His Getaway

June 20, 2008 04:03 PM
by Cara McDonough
U.S. marshals have charged the former hedge fund manager's girlfriend with aiding and abetting him in his plan to avoid a 20-year jail sentence.

30-Second Summary

Debra L. Ryan, 45, was arrested Thursday afternoon at the Armonk home she and Israel shared, and taken to White Plains federal court. Authorities say she helped Israel pack a getaway RV and hide it at a highway rest stop to facilitate his disappearance.

Israel's abandoned car was found June 9 near the Bear Mountain Bridge in New York with the message “Suicide is Painless” written on the windshield.

At first it appeared that Israel, cofounder of the Stamford, Conn., hedge fund Bayou Group LLC, had committed suicide while on his way to a Massachusetts prison to begin serving a 20-year sentence for defrauding Bayou investors of more than $400 million.

But this week authorities ruled out suicide, in part because no witnesses saw anyone jump into the water.

The New York Post reports that since Israel's disappearance, Ryan has lied to investigators and withheld information, according to the criminal complaint against her. But this week, Ryan reportedly cracked and admitted to officials that she began helping Israel with his getaway plan on June 7.

U.S. marshals have put out a nationwide alert for Israel, who's believed to be driving a 2007 white Coachman Freelander motor home with a motor scooter attached.

Israel, 48, along with Bayou chief financial officer Daniel E. Marino, pled guilty to fraud charges in September 2005. Israel had shut down the hedge fund only months before, admitting it was a fraud.

Headline Link: Israel's girlfriend helped him disappear

Background: A staged suicide and Bayou’s fall

Related Topics: Other suicides related to financial scandals


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