August 21, 2003 02:21 PM

Former “Nash Bridges” and “Miami Vice” star Don Johnson is preparing to sue the German Finance Ministry, claiming they smeared his name during an investigation, his lawyers tell the Associated Press.

At issue: an incident several months ago in which customs officials found documents listing transactions totaling $8 billion in a car in which the actor was traveling. Johnson, 53, claims his reputation was damaged after his name was made public by officials at the ministry, which oversees customs authorities, according to Hamburg-based lawyer Matthias Prinz.

Last November, Johnson’s vehicle was stopped for a routine check as he entered Germany from Switzerland (two other men reportedly were in the car). Officials photocopied but did not seize the documents and allowed Johnson and his party to continue on their trip.

Johnson has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, claiming the statements did not belong to him but to potential investors for a film project.

By May, German customs investigators closed the case, determining that the documents belonged to someone in Switzerland and that no offense had been committed.

AP reports that there was never any formal questioning of Johnson or of any other party.

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