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Robert Citron, the Man Behind OC's Bankruptcy, Dies

The former county treasurer, whose risky investments plunged OC into the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy, was 86.

Former Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert L. Citron, whose risky investments led to $1.6 billion in losses and prompted the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy filing in 1994, died today, according to a published report. He was 86.

Citron borrowed heavily to purchase volatile securities whose earnings were heavily tied to interest rates. When rates rose, the Orange County investment pool, which included funds from cities and school districts, lost
$1.6 billion and plunged the county into bankruptcy.

A grand jury investigation concluded Citron was relying on a mail-order astrologer and a psychic for predictions of interest rates, according to the Los Angeles Times, which was the first to report on Citron's death.

Citron pleaded guilty to six felonies involving fraud and misappropriation and was sentenced to a year in jail. However, he was allowed to serve his time on a work furlough program and go home at night.

After completing his sentence, Citron volunteered three days a week at a food bank and attended every USC home football game.

 - City News Service

Shripathi Kamath January 22, 2013 at 01:15 AM
..or rely on silly court records to assume that he pled guilty to six felonies, three special enhancements, led the county into bankruptcy, had his attorney insist that it was not really his fault because he barely understood math beyond a seventh grade level, etc. on a whim. Fake court records? http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur12.htm
Ginelle Dexter January 22, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Sorry, knew the man and knew the type of person Matthew Raabe was. I don't care what court records said or what he had to plead to, Mr. Citron was never the same afterwards. He placed a lot of his trust in a very untrustworthy person. And for you to mention Jesus and then be judgemental is the epitome of a truly hypocritical person. Futhermore, what is it with Republicans that they feel the need to degrade Democrats and, in fact, anyone who does not conform to their way of thinking? Sometimes I am sorry to be a registered Republican. Mr. Citron will always be that wonderfully polite gentleman that allowed me to "hang out" in my mom's office during the '70's when school was out for summer or Christmas. And I have never once forgotten that he was the only gentleman who stood during my wedding reception when my husband and I came around to greet our guests as they ate dinner. Say what you will, but YOU did not know him and it is NOT your place to pass judgement on someone you only read about.
JustUs January 22, 2013 at 04:02 AM
I don't care if you were bonded with him at the hip at birth, Ginelle. Citron failed miserable at his fiduciary obligation to the citizens of Orange County and should have done 5 years or more in state prison for his crimes. A man doesn't pled guilty to 6 felonies unless he has done something terribly wrong. And he was in charge of the public treasure, whether you like it not. Trying to pass off Citron's failings on another human being is totally wrong and a grave insult to the Orange County taxpayers. I understand that you probably had an emotional bond with Citron. We didn't and don't. All we know is that he hurt many people with his hairbrained investment schemes and should NEVER have been in a position of so much financial trust and responsibility. On top of that, he was very weird IMO.
Ginelle Dexter January 22, 2013 at 04:27 AM
Yeah, and you all in the OC think Moorlach walks on water. He's of the same mold as Raabe. How much of the county's money did he waste on lawyers trying to fight a lost cause against the Sheriff Dept? Said my peice...I'm out of here.
JustUs January 22, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Not me. I think Moorlach's a jerk. You're "out of here" because you weren't able to intelligently offer a counterargument to my previous comment. So long...........

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