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Swiss Banker Who Embezzled $33M Dies

February 28, 2001

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ Juerg Heer, a former Swiss private banker who spent five years on the run after embezzling $33 million from Bank Rothschild, has died at age 65.

Heer died Feb. 21, the Zurich funeral and cemetery service said Wednesday. He was suffering from AIDS and died at the city’s Lighthouse center, which cares for AIDS patients.

Heer took the money between 1986 and 1992 while credit manager at Bank Rothschild AG Zurich, using it to finance a lavish lifestyle, accumulating cars, art and furniture worth $12 million.

He was dismissed in 1992 for suspected irregularities and then arrested. He fled Switzerland after he was provisionally released from jail, but was arrested in Thailand in 1997.

In October 1998, Heer was sentenced to four years in prison. He was also fined for blackmailing three former bank clients and using forged passports during his five years on the run. He was released from prison on parole last year.

Details of survivors and funeral arrangements were not immediately available.

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