Two Shot at Currency Trading Company
NEW YORK (AP) _ A homeless woman who apparently believed she had been cheated walked into the headquarters of the Deak-Perera currency trading firm today and fatally shot the company’s chairman and a receptionist, authorities said.
Police said the incident occurred at about 11:45 a.m. at the 21st floor offices of Deak-Perera, the nation’s largest non-bank dealer in currency and precious metals.
Taken into custody by police was Lois Lang, 40, said Capt. William Quigley.
″She’s claiming some injustice was done to her in the past by this company. There’s no substantiation,″ Quigley said, noting that Ms. Lang had been ushered out of the Lower Manhattan headquarters office earlier Monday.
Police Officer Vincent Jones said Ms. Lang was homeless and had entered the company’s offices frequently, claiming that she was a partner of Deak’s and demanding to see him.
Mary de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said the woman would be charged with two counts of second-degree murder.
Receptionist Frances Lauder, 58, was shot through the head, and when company chairman Nicholas Deak, 80, heard the commotion and emerged from his office he was shot through the heart, Quigley said.
Quigley said the assailant reloaded her .38-caliber revolver and was about to leave when she was confronted by police, who told her to raise her hands. She refused, and was tackled by an officer.
Ms. Lauder died instantly, according to Maureen Flatley, a spokeswoman for New York Infirmary-Beekman Downtown Hospital. Deak died shortly after arrival at the hospital.
Deak, a Hungarian immigrant, founded the company in 1938. Deak & Co. Inc., filed under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws last December. The company listed assets of $62.2 million and liabilities of $95 million.
The company was purchased in August for $58 million by an anonymous group of investors represented by Chan Cher Boon, a Singapore attorney who became president of Deak-Perera U.S. Cher Boon’s bid was accepted contingent upon his reaching a settlement with creditors by Jan. 3.
In November 1974, Deak was subpoenaed to testify about his firm’s currency reporting practices before the President’s Commission on Organized Crime.
Deak denied the contention of a commission report that the firm’s New York office committed currency reporting violations in the case of a Colombian businessman who was convicted of laundering $105 million in drug money.