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Missing hedge fund manager turns himself in

  • Story Highlights
  • U.S. marshals had been talking to Israel's mother, spokeswoman says
  • Sam Israel to be transferred to prison, U.S. Marshals Office says
  • Israel disappeared June 9, the day he was to start 20-year prison sentence
  • Israel's SUV was found with "suicide is painless" written in dust on the hood
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(CNN) -- A convicted hedge fund manager who disappeared last month turned himself in to local authorities in Southwick, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Marshals Office.

Samuel Israel is led by police from U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Wednesday.

U.S. marshals had been in frequent contact with the mother of the fugitive, Sam Israel III, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service.

"The marshals talked to her immediately before his surrender," said Marshals Service spokeswoman Carolyn Gwathmey.

Israel was on the phone with his mother when he surrendered Wednesday, Gwathmey said.

Israel, 48, had failed to show up June 9 at a Massachusetts prison to serve his sentence for defrauding investors of the hedge fund Bayou Management of approximately $450 million.

His SUV was later found on a New York bridge with the words "suicide is painless" written in the dust on the hood.

Authorities determined the suicide setup was a ruse and conducted a major manhunt for Israel.

U.S. Marshals spokeswoman Carolyn Gwathmey said a federal task force was in contact with Israel's mother in Illinois throughout the investigation to encourage his surrender.

"The marshals talked to her immediately before his surrender today," Gwathmey told CNN.

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In court Wednesday, Israel, clad in shorts, a baseball cap and sporting a beard, acknowledged that he would probably face additional charges for fleeing but stressed he was not a violent person. He proceeded to list numerous medical conditions, claiming he has had 12 back surgeries and has a pacemaker.

The judge ordered Israel's return to New York. He arrived Wednesday and was held in the New York City jail to await a court hearing Thursday.

Any other charges brought against Israel will be decided on by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York.

Last week, federal marshals arrested Israel's girlfriend, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Authorities said Debra Ryan, 45, admitted to helping Israel pack an RV with his belongings and a motor scooter before his June 9 disappearance.

Ryan, who lived with Israel in Armonk, New York, was charged with aiding and abetting Israel in his failure to report to prison.

Ryan was released on $75,000 bond. She faces up to 10 years in prison.

After Israel's burgundy 2006 GMC Envoy was found on Bear Mountain Bridge in upstate New York, police searched the river for a body, but the U.S. Attorney's Office later described Israel's disappearance as a fugitive search rather than a suicide investigation.

A federal court complaint alleges that on June 9, Ryan followed Israel in her car as he drove the RV to a highway rest stop in upstate New York. After Israel parked the RV, Ryan drove Israel back to their home, according to the complaint.


Federal officials would not say who drove Israel's car to the bridge, nor would they confirm who they believe later drove Israel from the bridge to his RV.

U.S. marshals say Israel goes by the aliases Sam Ryan and David Clapp.

CNN's Laura Batchelor contributed to this report.

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