"Born on the Bayou," the 1970s Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR) tune begins, "Now when I was just a little boy, Standin' to my daddy's knee, my poppa said son, don't let the man get you" and continues with "Wishing I was on some fast freight train, just choogling on down to New Orleans." Perhaps that was the wish of one Samuel Israel III, a fugitive from the law, who disappeared June 9. Israel is the former manager of the Bayou hedge fund who plead guilty in 2005 to defrauding investors of more than $400 million, and who just happens to be a member of a prominent New Orleans family. Israel was supposed to drive himself to prison to begin his 20-year prison sentence. But along the way he abandoned his vehicle on a bridge near the Hudson River, left the keys, some pills, and a dust-written suicide message on the hood. His girlfriend, Debra Ryan, is alleged to have aided Israel by driving him not to a freight train but to his getaway RV, with an attached motor scooter, parked alongside a rest stop on I-684. Ryan was arrested on June 20 for helping Israel.
On July 2, Israel listened to his mother's pleadings on his cell phone, rode his scooter to Southwick, Mass., and surrendered to police. The judge, who had originally sentenced him, immediately ordered Israel to begin his 20 years in prison.
Fact patterns like these not only provide plots for TV producers but also serve as great topics for cases to be adopted as teaching tools for fraud examination audiences. The issue for educators is the lack of available in-depth fraud cases for educational purposes. Perhaps the reason lies with investigators who have the facts but lack the time to write case materials. Or perhaps the problem lies with academics who lack the resources to conduct their own research but still have the writing experience to structure a case study. One possible solution is to combine the talents of anti-fraud practitioners with academic professionals to produce quality cases for educational pursuits.
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