A team of Wall Street Journal reporters from around the globe reports that while fugitive billionaire Marc Rich worked to clear his name of criminal allegations, his trading empire also worked hard -- "landing some of the same sorts of deals that helped him get into trouble in the first place." Rich, who received a pardon from President Clinton before he left the White House, was indicted in 1983 on tax-evasion charges. Prosecutors also charged that Rich bought "about $200 million worth of oil from Iran while revolutionaries...held 53 Americans hostage there in 1979-81...Mr. Rich was never tried because he fled to Switzerland and renounced his American citizenship before being indicted." After he moved to Switzerland, Rich's business, unfettered by American trade restrictions, "not only conducted additional deals in Iran, it also traded with Libya, Cuba and South Africa, all at times when U.S. citizens and companies were barred from doing so." Although Rich's business practices since leaving the U.S. have not been illegal, they do "raise new questions about the wisdom of pardoning him."
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