In 1996, Samuel Israel III founded Bayou Hedge Fund Group, which ultimately raised about $450 million from investors, much of which was misdirected to personal use by Israel. In 2008, in an attempt to escape prosecution, Israel staged his own suicide by abandoning his vehicle, a 2006 GMC Envoy on a bridge after writing the words "Suicide is Painless" on the hood. Police didn't buy it however, and soon arrested Israel and his girlfriend Debra Ryan, who had assisted him in the disappearance. Israel was sentenced to 20 years for fraud. He has been featured on Dateline NBC as well as on America's Most Wanted.