Robert Vesco, Rogue Financier, Dies in Cuba

Fugitive from justice, fraudster died in November in Havana
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2008 6:47 AM CDT
In this Aug. 2, 1996 file photo file photo, American fugitive Robert Lee Vesco, center, leaves a Cuban court. Vesco died on Nov. 23, 2007 in Cuba, according to a burial record at Colon Cemetery.   (AP Photo/Canadian Press, Jose Goitia)
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(Newser) – Robert Vesco, the American financier who fled the country amid accusations that he had swindled $200 million from unsuspecting investors, died in Havana last November, according to a relative. Vesco, who died at 71, had lived in Cuba since the 1980s and had served time in jail there for defrauding a member of Fidel Castro's family. How much money he left behind and where it is remains unknown, Reuters reports.

Vesco was born in Detroit and became a millionaire by age 30. He spent decades on the run from US authorities not only for fraud, but for drug trafficking, bribing American officials, and illegal contributions to Richard Nixon. The relative, who is living anonymously in a rundown Havana apartment, said that Vesco had a small funeral in Havana and is buried in a tomb that does not bear his name.