Instead of reporting to Ayer, Mass., federal prison on Monday to serve a 20-year term for defrauding $450 million from investors in the failed Bayou hedge fund, Samuel Israel III has either committed suicide or left clues to make authorities believe he has.

Israel’s 2006 GMC Envoy was found two days ago on Bear Mountain Bridge near West Point, with the phrase “Suicide is Painless” scrawled in dust and pollen on the hood.

New York State police and the FBI are looking for Israel, 48, including searching the waters of the Hudson River, but at deadline had not found a body.

Investigators were first tipped off to fraud at the company in 2005, when a money manager visiting Bayou’s Stamford, Conn., offices found a suicide note written by partner Daniel Marino, in which he confessed to swindling investors beginning in 1998.

The judge who sentenced Israel said, “People who commit crimes while wearing a tie do not get a break.”

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