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