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EX-S&L CHIEF ACQUITTED OF ALL CHARGES

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Former Columbia Savings and Loan chief Thomas Spiegel was acquitted Monday of all remaining charges in a case that alleged he looted the failed Beverly Hills thrift.

A federal jury, which began deliberating Friday afternoon, found Spiegel not guilty on three felony counts, said Carole Levitzky, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.Spiegel originally faced 55 counts in an indictment returned in June 1992, but U.S. District Judge Robert Takasugi tossed most of them out during the seven-week trial.

The indictment of Spiegel, once the highest-paid thrift boss in the country, stemmed from accusations that he illegally squandered millions in Columbia Savings funds on lavish guns, cars, a resort condo and other benefits on himself.