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Countrywide Manager Says Business Week Defamed Him

SANTA MONICA (CN) - The Santa Monica branch manager of Countrywide Home Loans claims Business Week magazine defamed him in an article, "Who Cross the Line on the Street? The hunt for lawbreakers tied to toxic mortgages is underway." Steve Danziger says the piece falsely accused him of ordering his staff to destroy documents.

Danziger sued Business Week's corporate parent, McGraw Hill, and Business Week's business editor, Mara Der Hovanesian. Danziger complaint of articles that were published on Nov. 13 and Nov 24, 2008.

According to his Superior Court complaint: "These false and defamatory statements included express and implied accusations that plaintiff was dishonest, untrustworthy, unethical, immoral and unprofessional and that plaintiff directed his staff to shred 'tax documents they received from the borrowers to destroy proof of the borrowers' income and extend bigger loans than they could afford' and to conduct this shredding at home to avoid having this information uncovered during a corporate investigation implying such acts were legal [sic]."

Danziger demands punitive damages. He is represented by David Olan of Santa Monica.

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