Hedge fund founder barred from pleading

Boston Globe – A federal judge barred Samuel Israel, the convicted founder of hedge fund firm Bayou Group LLC, from entering a plea to bail jumping, saying his addiction to methadone may have impaired his judgment.

A US judge cited Bayou Group founder Samuel Israel’s methadone addiction and his ability to understand the proceedings.

Israel, who sought to plead guilty yesterday in US District Court in White Plains, N.Y., told US District Judge Kenneth Karas that his ability to understand the proceedings was "60 to 70 percent."

Prosecutors said the 49-year-old faked suicide and fled the day he was to begin a 20-year sentence for his conviction in a $400 million fraud.

"I have to be satisfied that you’re competent," Karas said, rejecting the plea to one count of failure to appear. "The fact that there is some doubt about that makes it imprudent to go forward today."

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