A middle aged spinster who has an unhealthy attachment to all things Lehman got off with a warning in court in New York Wednesday.
Judge Packer from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York said that the woman was more in need of psychiatric counselling than a custodial sentence, as she was arrested for causing a disturbance in a restaurant after one of her fellow diners suggested that former Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld was a criminal and should be locked up.
'She went ballistic', one eye-witness told the court, 'One minute she was calmly eating some pepperoni pizza, and the next she'd crawled over the table and slugged this elderly gentleman who apparently said something nasty about Dick Fuld'.
52-year-old April Duper, from Queens, falsely claims she is an illegitimate granddaughter of Herbert Lehman, one of the three founders of modern Lehman Brothers. Attending court in her Lehman scarf and cuff links (which she proudly told the judge she bought by the box load off eBay), Ms Duper confirmed that she 'cracked' when her dinner guest said something derogatory about Fuld. 'I do not love him', she said coyly, 'But he is a handsome devil, don't you think ?'. The judge did not respond.
Ms Duper admitted that she had a 'Lehman' problem. 'But I can't help it', she said, 'It's in my blood'.
Taking her through her testimony, Ms Duper's lawyer asked her how else her 'Lehman fetish' manifests itself.
'Well, I lost a lot of money in 2008', she said.
'How so ?'.
'The stock. Lehman's stock was so low, that I realised I could get more and more shares for my money, so I just kept buying. I couldn't help myself. The lower it went, the more I bought. I had to get as much as I could'.
'And when did you stop buying ?'.
'When it stopped being Dick Fuld's company, around mid-September, 2008'.
'And you say you lost a lot of money ?'.
'How much ?'.
'All of it', she said, 'But I still have the stock certificates', she added excitedly.
'And what about jobs', the lawyer asked, 'Have you ever applied for a job at Lehman ?'.
'And how many ?'.
'Oh, all of them. I used to apply for all of them. And I just loved those rejection letters. I treasure every one of them. I touch them, and play with them. I even sleep with some under my pillow'.
'And do you still go to the Lehman building ?'.
'No', Ms Duper replied frostily, 'I used to go there and just stare at it. That Lehman signage really did it for me. I have thousands of photos of that building. Dick Fuld even bumped into me on his way out once'.
'And did he stop to speak to you ?'.
'Yes', Ms Duper said proudly.
'What did he say ?'
'He kind of growled: 'Get the f..k out out the way!' And he touched me!'.
'He touched you ?'
'Well, he pushed me actually. He pushed me out of the way. He's so masculine. I've still got the dress I was wearing that day, you know. In fact, I'm wearing it now!', she gushed.
'Do you still take photos of the Lehman building ?'
'Why not ?'.
'Because it's been stolen. By Barclays. And I just can't bear it. I can't even walk passed it. I plan my route so that I don't have to see that sign and remember that building I loved. It's just too painful'.
With that, Judge Packer had had enough. 'That's it', he said, 'Ms Duper, you are not a criminal, but you are a very sick woman. I can't imagine how anyone can be so obsessed by Dick Fuld and Lehman Brothers. Now if it was Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase................'