Federal Presidential Pardon

A Study of Noteworthy Presidential Pardons

Marc Rich

Posted on | November 28, 2009 | 1 Comment

Marc Rich was an oil commodities trader who made his money in the 1970s and early 1980s. In the 1980s he allegedly traded with Iran while Iran still had American hostages. In 1983, he was indicted by Untied States Attorney and future New York City mayor, Rudolph Giuliani for tax fraud under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).

Rich fled to Switzerland. Subsequent to his flight, the United States Attorneys office stopped prosecuting tax cases based on a RICO theory and instead pursued the claims through civil remedies. Rich’s ex-wife made contributions to Bill Clinton’s presidential library. Rich made substantial contributions to Israeli charities.

Many pundits criticized Clinton saying this was a pardon for pay. Clinton responded that he consulted with tax professors Martin Ginsburg of Georgetown University Law Center and Bernard Wolfman of the Harvard Law School and concluded that Rich did not have a criminal intent in his actions (i.e. no mens rea).

The irony is that Rich’s lawyer was I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. We might have to give Scooter his own site. Guess the squeaky wheel does get the grease?

Marc Rich

Marc Rich


One Response to “Marc Rich”

  1. Jonathan Noland
    January 9th, 2010 @ 3:30 am

    There is a new book out about Marc Rich and his dealings, written with his cooperation: “The King of Oil – The Secret Lives of Marc Rich” (St. Martin’s Press).

    Highly interesting. Rich acknowledges having traded with Iran during the hostage crisis.

    “It was a political development which did not affect the business,” Rich says in the book. “It was very unpleasant and tragic for the hostages and humiliating for America, but it didn’t affect the business.”

    I was stunned to see that Rich openly talks about his businesses with rogue nations and about his private life.

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