New Details on Kirk Vartanian Investigation

July 8, 2009 7:46:29 PM PDT
One day after he bailed out of jail, Kirk Vartanian is facing new allegations. Vartanian has been in the news because of his efforts to redevelop Granite Park. Wednesday afternoon, court officials released documents detailing the criminal investigation into Vartanian's former auto dealershipVartanian billed The Auto Gallery as the best place to buy high end luxury vehicles. His business is now closed, and the parking lot is empty. We found court documents showing Vartanian's former employees talked with DMV investigators. One of them accused Vartanian of what amounts to selling ineffective car warranties.

A ten page search warrant details the DMV investigation into Kirk Vartanian. Thomas Moscatelli, an ABC 30 employee, is listed as the first alleged victim. Moscatelli said he purchased a black, convertible Mercedes from Vartanian's dealership nearly two years ago. The search warrant states Moscatelli paid more then $3,600 for a warranty to protect against mechanical breakdowns, but investigators believed Vartanian never activated the document and pocketed the money instead. Moscatelli said, "I'm 65 years old. I've bought maybe 20 cars in my life time ... and I've never had a problem."

DMV investigators searched Vartanian's Auto Gallery last week. Dozens of items were seized during the raid. The search warrant shows two former employees gave damaging statements against Vartanian. One of them was named Darren. An investigator wrote: "Darren stated Vartanian often withheld the warranties purchased by customers, keeping the money as it would never come up unless a vehicle had problems or the customer checked." A former sales manager told investigators the business faced huge financial problems. Another person claimed Vartanian stole thousands of dollars during a car deal.

The business man bailed out of jail on Tuesday. He is also facing domestic violence charges. David Balakian is one of Vartanian's attorneys. He said the newly released document is not an indictment against his client. Balakian said, "The search was executed pursuant to a warrant. I received it, and I barely looked at it. As far as I'm concerned, there is no DMV case. There is no DMV charges."

Vartanian's attorney is correct. No charges have been filed connected to the auto dealership. The attorney also said Vartanian is still pushing ahead with plans to open a night club at Granite Park.

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