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Ex-Sun Chief Denies Report of Wrongdoing : Dierdorff's Lawyer Says Secret Study 'Swiped'

June 20, 1985|BILL RITTER | San Diego County Business Editor

SAN DIEGO — The attorney for former Sun Savings & Loan Chairman Daniel W. Dierdorff claimed Wednesday that a confidential investigative report allegedly detailing financial improprieties and published in a San Diego newspaper had been illegally "swiped" from Sun.

Attorney Arthur Fine of Los Angeles, representing Dierdorff, also said that Dierdorff "categorically denies any wrongdoing or any breach of fiduciary duty," as alleged in an article published Wednesday afternoon in the San Diego Tribune.

Fine said that neither he nor Dierdorff had seen the report, which was written by the San Diego law firm of Fredman, Silverberg & Lewis for Sun's directors last fall.

The confidential report was given to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board earlier this year.

'Secret Checking Account'

Federal regulators and prosecutors are now investigating Sun's and Dierdorff's financial dealings, according to sources close to the case.

The Tribune article alleged that Dierdorff maintained a "secret checking account" under the alias of Dan Danzer. The account, which totaled nearly $200,000, did not contain federally required income tax information, the story said.

In addition, the Tribune reported that Dierdorff ordered a revision of Sun's November, 1983, profit and loss statement that inflated the company's earnings by $200,000; that Dierdorff charged personal expenses to Sun; that Dierdorff approved $170,000 in third-party commissions on a $2.1-million loan made by Sun that quickly fell into default, and that Dierdorff received several gifts from Sun customers.

Haven't Seen Report

Fine on Wednesday said that Dierdorff "hasn't acquired any personal benefit as suggested in the allegations."

Fine said neither he nor Dierdorff have seen the report and have no "knowledge whether what was summarized (in the Tribune) was accurate."

Sun President and Chief Executive John McEwan would not comment on the report.

Walt Miller, managing editor of the Tribune, said the report was "provided to us anonymously" and that the paper was "able to verify that it was indeed a copy of a report" that was authorized by Sun's board.

Fine alleged that the report had been "illegally and improperly removed" from Sun, "and the person who swiped it knew that was precisely what was being done."

Fine said he told the Tribune that it was "inappropriate for them to use that report for a story."

McEwan is trying to rebuild Sun's sagging net worth--already below the regulatory minimum--and reduce losses through a $12-million loan swap.

Sun, with $36.1 million in non-performing loans, lost $5.8 million in 1984.

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