Kirk Vartanian's Connection to Stacy Johnson-Klein

July 9, 2009 6:08:47 PM PDT
A new twist on Thursday in the fraud investigation into local businessman Kirk Vartanian.Action News has confirmed with multiple sources that former Fresno State Basketball Coach Stacy Johnson-Klein was trying to buy a luxury vehicle from Kirk Vartanian.

Vartanian came to The Edge night club just two hours after Fresno Police released these detailed reports. Action News reviewed the 34 page document. Towards the end, investigators state Vartanian may have been involved with fraud in connection with the sale of a Bentley. The name of the alleged victim is redacted. But three sources tell us, DMV investigators are looking into an allegation that Vartanian got money from Johnson-Klein, but she never got the car. The deal was worth more than $200,000.

Vartanian referred us to Johnson-Klein and said the two remain friends. He declined to say anything else. Last week, DMV investigators raided Vartanian's now closed luxury auto dealership in North Fresno. They searched for evidence involving fraud connected to vehicle sales and car warranties. The same police reports detail a domestic violence incident that landed Vartanian in jail for eleven days. Police report the alleged fight was sparked by Vartanian's girlfriends and his large investments in local night clubs. The Edge night club at Granite Park was open for two nights last month. Vartanian has pleaded not guilty to the domestic violence charges. David Balakian is one of Vartanian's defense attorneys. He said, "If a person is under danger, under imminent threat of being killed, you would think they would contact law enforcement at the absolute, immediate moment of opportunity."

Vartanian will be back in court next week on the domestic violence charges. We tried to contact Johnson-Klein about the auto fraud case, but she has not responded to our messages.

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