Samuel Israel III was regarded by his peers as a pretty clever dude. He's bounced around all the best banks as a trader, and no small feat, he'd managed to keep a Ponzi scheme going for almost ten years. "This is a very smart guy, a very crafty guy," the attorney for the investors Israel cheated through his Bayou Group hedge fund said to the AP. And yet: The way he went about trying to get out of his jail sentence seems so stupid.
First, he writes the glibbest-ever suicide note, quoting the theme song from M*A*S*H, on the hood of his car. Second, he rather openly procures an RV and a scooter and, since he can't manage to pack himself, ropes in his girlfriend who yesterday folded on him like a house of cards. Now, the U.S. Marshal's office, which has his license-plate number and various other details of his getaway plans, is saying that Israel is probably "still in the area." He didn't actually bother to go to Mexico or anything! He might be spotted, they said, at "RV parks, campgrounds or highway rest areas." Actually wait a second: rest areas? Is there anywhere more lonely or anonymous than the TCBY at the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Rest Stop on I-95? Everyone there looks the same! We take it back. They'll never find him there. Dude is a genius.