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Michael James Marin (December 1958 - June 28, 2012), was an American financier, lawyer and ex-Wall Street trader and millionaire. He was raised in Oak Harbor, north of Seattle, Washington State. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he attended Brigham Young University and served in a mission in Japan, where he learned Japanese. After college, he attended Yale Law School, and was admitted to the New York State Bar Association in 1987. He went to work in the legal department of banks, which sent him back to Japan. He made a fortune trading in complex investments in the 1980s and 1990s, working for Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Salomon Brothers mainly in their operations in Asia. His children were raised in Asia and in Chicago. His wife, Tammy, left him in 1992, after 12 years of marriage. In the late 1990s, Marin returned to the United States, after being let go by Lehman Brothers in 1997. He led a lavish life buying a multimillion-dollar home in Arizona, also acquiring works of art including Pablo Picasso etchings. He traveled extensively in Asia. A book he wrote under the title Fluctuations about investment banking in Asia tells about his adventures in Papua, New Guinea, Cambodia and Malaysia. He was an avid thrill seeker and climbed the highest peaks on six of the continents including Mount Everest, engaging in trips and adventures into exotic places.
He bought a 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) mansion at 71 Biltmore Estates Drive in September 2008, after a friend and business partner lost it to foreclosure, and he paid for it through a complex series of transactions. It came with a monthly mortgage payment of $17,250 and an imminent $2.3 million balloon payment. In spring 2009, Marin devised a lottery to sell the house with profit, with some funds going to a charity he had chosen, a crisis center for children. The state authorities determined that the lottery was illegal and shut it down. The lottery drawing was supposed to be on July 4, 2009. The following day, on July 5, 2009, Marin called 911 to report that his house was on fire. He reportedly climbed from the second floor of the burning estate using a rope ladder and wearing a scuba-diving suit. Fire Department investigators determined the fire was deliberate after finding several points of origin for the deliberate fire throughout the estate.
He was tried on suspicion of arson for setting his home on fire. Court hearings started on May 21, 2012. Charges could lead to decades in prison. Soon after hearing the conviction on June 28, 2012, and learning that he was to be taken into custody immediately after the hearing, he committed suicide in court. He was seen in court videos closing his eyes as the verdict was being read before appearing to put something in his mouth and washing it down with a liquid in a plastic water bottle. He then fell to the floor a few minutes later in convulsions. He was rushed to a central hospital in Phoenix and was pronounced dead. Authorities confirmed he had taken a lethal dose of cyanide. He had bought a canister of cyanide in May 2011, from a California mail-order chemical supplier. At time of death, he was married and father of four and a grandfather of two.
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