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

Shirley January 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM
The justice system in OC has always been "just perfect" for high criminal cases, they get the lightest sentences anyone has ever heard of. He & his atty. loved every minute of it, while the taxpayers eventually got it all paid back. Never will anyone forget this mess.
JustUs January 17, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Good. Now his pension benefits go bye-bye unless is wife is still alive and collects them. He was a real stain on Orange County's history. He should have done 5 years in prison. He got off real easy. Good riddance, Bob. Now you can take it all up with our creator.
Lil Marty January 17, 2013 at 05:16 PM
I agree Justus! I actually agree with one thing you ever said! This jackass ripped of the citizens or Orange County. Lil Marty Leisure World
JustUs January 17, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Oh, I am so happy you agreed with me, Lil Marty. You really made my day. You have no idea how long I've waited to get your approval. Thank you, good sir. I aim to please. I will try harder in the future to gain your favor. :^)
Shripathi Kamath January 17, 2013 at 06:04 PM
"A grand jury investigation concluded that Citron was relying on a mail-order astrologer and a psychic for predictions of interest rates" If only he relied on Jesus like everyone else (should), he'd have gotten his predictions right and made us all rich. Patch.com could get a lot more mileage out of this article if it mentioned that Citron was a Democrat. The Pavlovian frenzy alone could feed twenty three comments. That or his similarly obscure connection to the curing of W C Fields' alcoholism (http://law.justia.com/cases/california/calapp2d/30/51.html)
ms.sc. January 17, 2013 at 07:31 PM
I did not know this man, but there is no reason for commentors to be sarcastic with each other. And, Shri, if I have been rude to you in comments I posted, it was not my intention. I apologize if you were offended. Getting back to the article...Sadly, it's not only Orange County, California that needs to "clean House"! We have a "dirty" government in each State. Say a prayer. Yes, Shiri, I agree with you on this.
MFriedrich January 17, 2013 at 07:33 PM
His name was strangely appropriate for the county he served.
JustUs January 17, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Maybe we should have faith healings before and after each public meeting (Board of Supervisors, OCTA, City Council, etc...) and make it mandatory for all the elected politicians at those meeting to partake in such activity. If they want to throw in some astrology and tarot card readings, that's fine too. We can do that in hornor of Mr. Citron. But government should be equal opportunity and those who believe in the metaphysical and mystic side of life should NOT be excluded. Jesus, Allah, Mohammed, Buddah and Confuscious should all be represented. There should be a provision added to the Brown Act to make this official. I am very open minded and believe in trying anything and everything to remedy the sickness and societal disease that has overtaken our highest political offices.
Shripathi Kamath January 17, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Shripathi Kamath January 17, 2013 at 07:44 PM
I would have gladly welcomed your rudeness, my only problem is that I cannot find it. :-) No worries, Jolene.
ms.sc. January 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Thanks Shiri. Blessings to you too.
Ginelle Dexter January 22, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Unless you knew the man personally, as my family did (my mom worked for him for over 20 years and I was welcome in his office anytime), I suggest you stop spewing hatred for someone you only know about through biased journalists regarding a situation that only those in the Tax Collector's office knew the full truth of.
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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