"This is strictly a business decision," DiCicco advised. "It is ridiculous for you to spend another year of your life on this.
"You can do better things with your time even though you have to pay this ransom."
For days Fisher struggled. The fine would be relatively minuscule, but paying it would still represent some admission of guilt.
Payment by check
Finally, on Dec. 10, he instructed his assistant to drive to 'N Provident Bank and withdraw $20,000 and send a cashier's check to the RTC.
Five days later, he signed a document releasing him from all claims. He immediately called Kathryn to tell her, then drove to her home.
As he walked to the door, his daughter flew out of the house and jumped into his arms, smothering Fisher with a bear hug.
On Dec. 19, 1995, U.S. District Court Judge Marvin J. Garbis dismissed the lawsuit against Fisher and the others.
The government had spent four years and $1.5 million prosecuting them. It settled for a total of $1.7 million in fines.
Fisher celebrated by treating himself to a white Porsche convertible and promptly took Kathryn for a ride down Bay Dale Drive, a windy, two-lane road in Annapolis.
"He was like a 16-year-old," she would say later. "That is the first time I saw him happy."
But Fisher's exhilaration didn't last.
Today, he believes that he abdicated by paying the fine -- no matter how small.
"I took peace over principle," he says. "I have always maintained principle until the very end.
"And here I sold out."
Pub Date: 12/15/96