Pardoned U.S. commodities trader Marc Rich dies at 78 in Switzerland

June 26, 2013 at 7:40 AM

BERNE, Switzerland, June 26 (UPI) -- Marc Rich, Glencore founder and controversial commodities trader who fled the United States to avoid federal indictments, died in Switzerland, his company said.

He was 78.

"Marc Rich died in Lucerne in a hospital as a result of a brain stroke," Christian Konig of the Marc Rich Group said in a statement.

The date of his death was not reported, but burial was expected to take place in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, The Financial Times reported Wednesday.

Rich, who was born in Belgium, fled the United States in 1983 just before he was on 50 federal charges, including trading with Iran during an embargo, wire fraud, racketeering and evading more than $48 million in income taxes.

President Bill Clinton pardoned Rich on his last day in office in 2001, but Rich denounced his U.S. residency and remained in Switzerland. At the time of his death, he held passports in Belgium, Israel and Spain, the Times said.

Forbes reported Rich's net worth in 2012 was $2.5 billion.

Rich is survived by two daughters, the Times said.

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