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I won’t spoil for the reader what happens next.

In a frenzy to save Bayou, Sam falls for a con more unbelievable than the one he himself concocted. There is a hulking movie villain, a shadowy figure billed as a CIA hit man, a relative of George W. Bush’s, hidden Japanese gold, a secret global market in bogus Federal Reserve bonds and, yes, the assassination of President Kennedy.

Sam bought into the whole package: a secret global cadre known as Octopus that runs the world’s governments, financed by this secret global market in clandestine bonds that - if one can be allowed to invest - bring billions in profits. Israel, who is doing a 20-year stretch in federal prison, still partly believes in the con, and that, perhaps, is the funniest part of this entertaining, well-told tale.

James Srodes, a former Washington bureau chief for Forbes and Financial World magazines, is the author of “On Dupont Circle,” which will be published by Counterpoint in August.