Feds Seek ARVC Help to Find Fugitive
The FBI and U.S. Marshall’s Office have prevailed upon the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and its 4,000 members to be on the lookout for a fugitive.
Hedge fund swindler Samuel Israel III is allegedly on the run in a Class C motorhome after staging his suicide to avoid jail time. He may be staying in RV parks, campgrounds or highway rest areas.
Israel is described as standing 5/11” tall and weighing 200 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
According to The Associated Press, his girlfriend, Debra Ryan, was part of the scheme and was arrested June 19 and charged with helping him elude his sentence on the day he was supposed to begin serving 20 years in prison.
Federal agents said that Israel took off in a white recreational vehicle – identified as a Coachmen Freelander minimotorhome – carrying a motor scooter and his belongings. Officials said he might possibly use the names Sam Ryan or David S. Clapp.
The vehicle has New York plates, license number EEN-5973. The VIN 1GBJG31U451240922.
On June 19, Ryan acknowledged that she helped Israel attach a motor scooter to the back of an RV and pack the vehicle with his belongings, according to the complaint.
She told authorities that on the day Israel was to surrender, she drove her car and he drove the RV to a rest area about 55 miles north of New York City. Israel parked the RV there, and the two drove back to their home, the complaint says, quoting Ryan.
The complaint had no other information about what happened later that day.
Israel, 48, was supposed to turn himself in to prison officials June 9 but never showed up. Authorities say he abandoned his sport utility vehicle on a Hudson River bridge, with the ominous words "Suicide is Painless" etched in dust on the hood to make it appear he had jumped and then disappeared.
No body was found beneath the 150-foot-high bridge, and authorities said they believed the scene was yet another of Israel's scams.
Israel’s RV has a hydraulic lift on the rear which may be carrying a blue 2005 Yamaha scooter. There may be body damage on the rear passenger side. The RV was last seen on June 6 in Westchester County, N.Y.
He should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about Israel is urged contact the U.S. Marshal’s Service at (800) 336-0102.