Alan B. Levan toiled for years to polish BankAtlantic's balance sheet. Now, if he could just do something about its tarnished image.

Sued by shareholders, accused of defrauding investors, and pilloried on a prime-time network news program, Mr. Levan, a former real estate mogul turned thrift chief executive, unwillingly became a subject of controversy. By association, so did his thrift.

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