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Dutch economist accused of stalking Citi executive faces more charges

Passersby walk in front of a Citibank branch in New York, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
Passersby walk in front of a Citibank branch in New York, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Dutch economist faces additional criminal charges in New York for allegedly stalking Citigroup Inc's global chief economist, Willem Buiter.

Heleen Mees, 44, was arraigned in New York City Criminal Court on Monday on an amended criminal complaint that contained further details of the alleged harassment.

She had previously been charged in connection with the case in July, but prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney's office added more charges on Monday.

According to the amended complaint, Buiter told police Mees used a fake name to try to meet him at a hotel in Amsterdam in January, after trying to catch up with him at a Beijing hotel in 2010.

All together, the revised complaint said, Mees sent Buiter more than 3,000 emails between November 7, 2009, and July 1, 2013.

The emails ranged from the obscene to the threatening, Buiter told police.

"I hope you die," read one email sent last September, according to the complaint. Another email allegedly contained pictures of dead birds.

In a two-week stretch in May, Mees sent Buiter 55 sexually explicit emails, and between late May and late June Mees emailed him 68 times asking to meet for a drink, the complaint said.

Mees now faces one count of menacing, two counts of stalking, four counts of aggravated harassment and one count of harassment, all misdemeanors. The most serious charges carry up to one year in prison.

Mees' attorney, Ira London, was not immediately available to comment. Her previous court-appointed lawyer said at an earlier court appearance that Mees and Buiter had a "longstanding relationship," according to news reports.

Mees' 2012 doctoral thesis, "Changing Fortunes: How China's Boom Caused the Financial Crisis," included the dedication, "For Willem." In the acknowledgements, Mees thanked Buiter for meeting with her in 2008 to discuss the paper.

Buiter, 63, is married to Anne Sibert, an economics professor at the University of London, and has two children. He lives in New York.

Mees is due back in court on October 24.

(Editing by Dan Grebler)

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