"I cheated my investors because I was afraid to admit my failure. I did not want the world to think I was not good enough and I did not want my family to see me as a failure."
Those are some of the choice, cowardly words from Samuel Israel III, the erstwhile Bayou Capital hedge fund manager who cheated investors out of $450 million, when begging the sentencing judge for leniency. Apparently, Israel believes he was justified in, and can earn sympathy for, ripping off his clients because he couldn't measure up to his prominent New Orleans family. His lawyer also pled on Israel's behalf, noting the swindler's pacemaker, back trouble and addiction to pain killers.