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The D.C. Court of Appeals last week disbarred a former staff attorney at Covington & Burling who was twice convicted of stealing antiques in Virginia. Faith Ruderfer, 51, pleaded guilty to grand larceny in Fairfax County Circuit Court in May 2006, and again in Loudoun County court in January 2007. In the Fairfax case, Ruderfer, a former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer, broke into an Annandale antiques store, Katria’s Korner, in August 2005, using a patio chair to smash the glass panes of the door, according to the store’s owner, Kurt Kruger. A man walking by saw her loading up her car with about $5,000 worth of vases, figurines, and jewelry. The passerby provided police with a description of Ruderfer’s car, and she was later arrested with the stolen items. Ruderfer told police that the antiques belonged to her, says Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Mark Birnbaum, who prosecuted the case. (They did not.) She was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay Kruger $200 for the damage to the door. In the Loudoun case, she was sentenced to three years’ probation for stealing an Art Deco metal ashtray lamp and a Nippon hand-painted china teapot from Black Shutter Antiques in Leesburg in March 2006. She took the items out with other purchases she made at the store that day, according to court papers filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court. The store’s owner later found the lamp and teapot listed on eBay, and police eventually traced the theft back to Ruderfer. Ruderfer left Covington last August, after working there for about a year, according to Kathryn King, a spokeswoman for the firm. Ruderfer says her “compulsive shoplifting” was prompted by an undiagnosed lack of impulse control. “I have subsequently been diagnosed and am being treated,” Ruderfer says. “I spent the first 25 years of my legal career with a stellar record — judicial clerkship; large firm and government practice with no ethical or criminal problems, but it seems that midlife occasioned the onset of the illness (a family legacy) and I went downhill over the last five years,” says Ruderfer. “I am trying to rebuild my life at the present with the help of medication, therapy, twelve step programs, and friends/family support.”
Joe Palazzolo can be contacted at [email protected].

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