27 Jun 2013

Commodity trader Marc Rich dies

7:43 am on 27 June 2013

Commodity trader Marc Rich has died in Switzerland. Known as the "king of commodities'', he was one of the most successful traders of all time.

He died of a stroke in the Swiss city of Lucern at the age of 78, the March Rich Group said in a statement.

Mr Rich was wanted by the United States for tax evasion when he was pardoned on President Bill Clinton on his last day in office in 2001.

Mr Rich was born in Belgium in 1934, but his family, which was Jewish, left Europe for the United States in 1941 to flee Nazism.

He founded a trading company in 1974, later known as Glencore, and became known as the "king of commodities".

But in the 1980s he was accused of tax evasion, fraud, as well as illegal trade with Iran and fled to Switzerland.

The BBC reports Mr Rich remained on the FBI's Most Wanted List for almost two decades, narrowly escaping capture in Finland, Germany, Britain and Jamaica,

The pardon was issued by Mr Clinton on 20 January 2001, after Mr Rich's ex-wife donated money to Mr Clinton's presidential library.

Mr Clinton later said he regretted the pardon, but strongly denied that gifts had any effect on his decision.