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Vice Principles

Don Johnson denies money-laundering charges. The actor calls reports of a German investigation into his finances ''farcical''

Don Johnson is insisting he's not part of a real-life version of a ''Miami Vice''-style scam, and denying news reports of a German investigation into his finances. Reports this week had suggested that German officials were investigating Johnson for money laundering after a border check there purportedly revealed $8 billion in the form of bonds, stock certificates, and cash in his car last November. ''There is no truth to this story,'' Johnson told Reuters. ''It has no merit, no foundation. They have taken a routine incident and blown it up into this money-laundering that supposedly I am involved in.''

Johnson told Reuters that the ''ill-founded and farcical'' reports have led to the closing of two bank accounts, and that he's hired attorneys in Germany to defend him. All he had with him when he crossed the border last year to buy a Mercedes were bank statements from business associates, he said. And despite his acting success, Johnson would hardly have access to anywhere near $8 billion, his spokesperson, Elliott Mintz, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Meanwhile, a German customs spokesman told Reuters that there's no criminal investigation pending against Johnson. But German officials have contacted U.S. authorities about the issue, according to the Sun-Times.

Originally posted Mar 13, 2003
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