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Paula Dwyer

Marc Rich's Sleazy Genius

He will forever be known as the fugitive financier even though, in the end, Marc Rich was free to travel wherever he wished.

He will forever be known as the fugitive financier even though, in the end, Marc Rich was free to travel wherever he wished. Rich, who died today in Switzerland at age 78 following a stroke, was the swashbuckling commodities trader who made boatloads of money but got crosswise with Rudolph Giuliani in the 1980s.

As the U.S. attorney for Manhattan, Giuliani indicted Rich in 1983 for allegedly violating U.S. price controls on a daisy-chain of oil deals with Iran, then failing to pay U.S. taxes on the sales. Rich fled to Switzerland hours before his indictment. He spent the next 17 years evading the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. marshals trying to kidnap him to bring him back to the U.S. for trial. Bill Clinton, on his last day in office in 2001, infamously pardoned Rich, an act that will forever stain the former president, who personally benefited from hundreds of thousands of Rich family contributions to the Clinton library.