Alan Abrahams, alias James Carr, the elusive con man who reportedly bilked thousands of investors out of up to $50 million in a complex commodities fraud scam, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail and fined $10,000 yesterday by a federal judge in New York.

The New York sentencing, for probation violation, marks the end of only the first of several court dates Abrahams will face.

He had pleaded guilty in 1971 to filing false tax returns in New York, and was sentenced to three years of probation. But he violated that probation when he was convicted on a bad check charge in New Jersey a few years later.

But Abrahams then built a reputation as a con man extraordinaire, beginning with his escape from a New Jersey prison farm and winding through several states and countries. His attorney, Ivan Fisher, said Abrahams escaped to protect his two daughters, because his former wife had threatened to send them to a foster home. In all he has been arrested nine times.

He was arrested earlier this year in Boston over allegations that his commodities firm, Lloyd, Carr & Co., had been defrauding customers in the sale of controversial London options.

But he jumped $100,000 bail, taking his two daughters, second wife and her daughter, and a friend on a trip to Florida, where he eventually was captured living in a $130-a-night resort hotel room.

Arbrahams, 52, left behind a $200,000 home and three cars in Boston, including a Rolls Royce.

In sentencing Abrahams yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Gerard Goettel said he took into consideration Abraham's reputation as a "good family man, an intelligent and pershaps brilliant man who failed to put this ability to the best use."

But, the judge added, "I don't ever recall quite as many negative acts committed by a probationer."

Abrahams will now face courts in New Jersey (to serve the time he skipped out on when he escape), Boston (several actions, including) charges that he lied to a federal judge when asked his real name), and Michigan (the original fraud charges filed by the attorney general and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission).