updated 2/27/2009 7:39:54 AM ET 2009-02-27T12:39:54

Fresh from a medical exam, a New York hedge-fund cheat is returning to court on charges that he skipped out on a 20-year prison sentence.

Instead of reporting to federal prison last June for bilking millions from his investors, Samuel Israel faked his suicide and took off in an RV for nearly a month before surrendering.

The 49-year-old Israel has spent months getting a physical and psychological checkup at a prison hospital in Ayer, Mass. A federal judge ordered the evaluation to help him decide whether Israel is competent to plead guilty to going on the lam before a court date set for Friday.

The judge refused to accept the plea last year when Israel told him that treatment for his addiction to painkillers had impaired his thinking.

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