Orange County pays off $1 billion bankruptcy debt

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Orange County has paid off the last of $1 billion worth of bonds it raised to haul itself out of bankruptcy.The Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/2tC2A6M ) says after 22 years, the county on Saturday delivered the final payment to bondholders.

With interest, the repayment totaled about $1.6 billion.

The county still has about $20 million to pay off to various cities and agencies that have a separate repayment deal.

Bad bets on interest rates sent the highly-leveraged county into bankruptcy in 1994. At the time, it was the largest municipality to seek such protection.

The crash led to reforms. The county now has much more financial transparency and its budget doesn’t rely heavily on investments.

Former Orange County Treasurer Robert Citron pleaded guilty to financial fraud. He died in 2013.

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