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Robert Citron, who sparked OC bankruptcy, dies

ORANGE, Calif. (AP) -- Robert Citron, whose bad investments as Orange County treasurer forced the county into bankruptcy in 1994, has died. He was 87.

His wife, Terry, tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/SNLxqP ) that Citron died Wednesday after a heart attack.

Citron made big bets on complicated investments that earned high yields but eventually caused $1.64 billion in losses. The county's subsequent bankruptcy was, at the time, the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

A grand jury investigation found that Citron had relied on a mail order astrologer and a psychic for interest rate predictions.

Citron pleaded guilty to six felony counts and was sentenced to day work sorting mail in the county jail.

Citron later testified in a county lawsuit against Merrill Lynch that the investment house settled for $400 million.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

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