WASHINGTON -- The former chairman of the failed BestBank of Boulder, Colo., is suing one of the bank's business partners over a joint marketing effort that preceded its downfall.

Edward Mattar filed suit in U.S. District Court on Feb. 23 against Century Financial Group Inc., a Florida company, and its officers, Douglas Baetz and Glenn Gallant. BestBank, working with Century Financial of Fort Lauderdale, sold credit cards as part of a travel-club membership targeting people with limited or bad credit histories.

When regulators closed the bank in July 1998, it had $314 million in assets.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has estimated the cost of the failure at $232 million. The FDIC has a fraud and racketeering lawsuit pending against Mr. Mattar and T. Alan Boyd, the bank's former president, as well as Century Financial, Mr. Baetz, and Mr. Gallant.

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