Founder of Glencore Marc Rich dies in Switzerland
Controversial commodities trader had fled the US to avoid federal indictments
Swiss billionaire Marc Rich receiving the Award Honorary Doctorate from Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv.
Marc Rich, the colourful and controversial commodities trader and founder of Glencore who fled the US to avoid federal indictments, has died in Switzerland aged 78.
“Marc Rich died in Lucerne in a hospital as a result of a brain stroke,” said Christian König of the Marc Rich Group in a statement. He is expected to be buried in Tel Aviv today.
Ivan Glasenberg, the chief executive of Glencore Xstrata, said: “We are saddened to hear of the death of Marc. He was a friend and one of the great pioneers of the commodities trading industry, founding the company that became Glencore. Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with his family at this time.”
Mr Rich, born in Antwerp, Belgium, was an oil trader who fled to Switzerland in 1983 hours before being indicted on more than 50 charges of trading with Iran during an embargo, wire fraud, racketeering and evading more than $48 million in income taxes – at the time the largest tax evasion case in US history.
He remained one of the US’s most wanted fugitives until Bill Clinton pardoned him on his last day as US president in January 2001.
Mr Clinton said such cases should be settled in civil not criminal courts and also cited clemency pleas from Israeli officials, including Ehud Barak, the then prime minister.
Clinton critics pointed to the large donations Rich’s then wife, Denise Eisenberg, had made to both the US Democratic party and the Clinton library.
– Copyright The Financial Times Limited