Alleged Financial Improprieties : Sun S&L; Admits U.S. Probe of Ex-Chairman

San Diego County Business Editor

Sun Savings & Loan acknowledged Tuesday for the first time that federal prosecutors are investigating alleged financial improprieties by its ousted chairman and chief executive, Daniel W. Dierdorff.

Sun is "cooperating fully" with investigators from the U.S. attorney's office, according to Chairman and Chief Executive John M. McEwan, who added that the inquiry is "not related to the current operations" of the University City-based S&L.;

McEwan said some Sun records have been subpoenaed by prosecutors, although no Sun official has testified yet before a grand jury.

Federal prosecutors and FBI agents have been investigating Dierdorff for the past few weeks, according to sources familiar with the case.

'Abused His Position'

They are reportedly looking into many of the alleged improprieties that were detailed in a confidential report commissioned by Sun directors last year.

That report, written by the San Diego law firm of Fredman, Silverberg & Lewis, was given to Federal Home Loan Bank Board regulators, who in turn made it available to prosecutors.

The report, a copy of which has been obtained by The Times, concluded that Dierdorff "abused his position" and "acted in a fashion inconsistent" with federal regulations.

Specifically, the report claims that Dierdorff created a "secret" checking account under the fictitious name of Dan Danzer; that he and his wife used Sun funds and credit cards for "numerous personal expenses," and that he regularly traveled to Las Vegas and received free transportation, lodging, food and entertainment at the Dunes Hotel.

The hotel is a subsidiary of M&R; Investment Co., which borrowed $1.6 million from Sun.

The hotel's controlling shareholder is Morris Shenker, the former counsel to the late James Hoffa of the Teamsters Union.

Denies Wrongdoing

The report said Dierdorff responded that he was unaware of Shenker's relationship with M&R; Investment or with gambling in Nevada.

Dierdorff, through his attorney, has denied any wrongdoing or "breach of fiduciary duty."

Last month, following publication of the report in the San Diego Tribune, the attorney, Arthur Fine, charged that the report had been illegally "swiped" from Sun.

Dierdorff resigned last September following a summer of controversy and attempts by his fellow Sun directors to oust him.

Neither Dierdorff nor Fine could be reached for comment Tuesday about the U.S. attorney's investigation.

Officials at the U.S. attorney's office here would not comment on the case.

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