Thursday, July 03, 2008

Quote of the Day

"He might be a criminal but at least he listened to his mother."
--Ross Intelisano, a lawyer for investors who lost millions to hedge-fund scammer Samuel Israel III.

After being convicted of defrauding Bayou Fund investors of some $450 million (!!!) and being sentenced to 20 years in prison, Israel, "the scion of a wealthy New Orleans family," staged a fake suicide off the Bear Mountain Bridge with the aid of his girlfriend. (Ooh, bad move! She's in a universe of trouble now.) Then he went on the lam for a month at an RV park in Massachusetts. But after talking to his mom, Israel turned himself in to police--though he had trouble finding a station that was open full-time.

Read all about it in the NYT: Fund Manager Who Faked His Suicide Surrenders.

In honor of Mrs. Israel, I declare a four-day moratorium on Jewish mother jokes.


Christine Fletcher said...

On my shelf is a non-fiction book called: But He Was Good to His Mother: Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters, by Robert Rockaway.

Good though they may have been, though, I don't think any of these guys turned himself in on the advice of his mother...

Doreen Orion said...

Damn! This is really going to give a bad name to RV parks.

Bella Stander said...

My thought exactly, Doreen. I thought of you as soon as I read that bit.

And Christine, now I want to read BUT HE WAS GOOD TO HIS MOTHER. (Though surely Mafiosi are good to their mothers too? Maybe Rockaway could write a sequel.) In 1980, I gave my father a copy of THE RISE & FALL OF THE JEWISH GANGSTER IN AMERICA. I thought he'd appreciate it, but he said he'd read all the primary sources. Now that I think about it, he probably knew some of the primary sources.

Christine Fletcher said...

But He Was Good to His Mother is entertaining, but doesn't go into much depth. I liked The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America much better.

That's a great story about your dad. That generation--the things they knew and did, and never talked about. Drives me nuts with curiosity. Someday I'll get back to researching which Jewish mob boss my great-aunt was involved with. My mother met him once, briefly, but she couldn't remember his name, only that he was very well-known at the time.

Bella Stander said...

My father told me very little about his life; fortunately he was more forthcoming to reporters. From a 1971 NY interview by Guy Flatley:
" I never thought I'd see the day when people would look back with nostalgia to Prohibition. That was a horrible time: gangsters sitting in front row seats, getting drunk and puking. That was my generation--we got drunk and made love in automobiles."

Sally Nemeth said...

Oh my god! If I tried to pitch that as a movie, I'd be laughed out of the office. It's so incredibly preposterous. I particularly love the touch - him turning himself in, riding up to the police station on his Yamaha scooter. Hilarious.