Kirk Vartanian Arrested, Bails Out Seven Hours Later

August 5, 2009 11:55:02 PM PDT
After a long day of waiting ... Kirk Vartanian left the Fresno County jail, without talking to the media. He had been arrested earlier by investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles on fraud charges. His attorney Dan Bacon disputes those charges."This case is a joke." Bacon said.

The charges include allegations Vartanian's car dealership took money for cars from customers but never delivered them, including a quarter of a million dollar luxury car for former Fresno State coach Stacy Johnson-Klein. But Vartanian's other attorney, David Balakian, says most of the customers the DMV lists aren't complaining.

"They aren't claiming any harm and they don't even want to be involved in this. So, that makes me suspicious. And so we want the evidence to see who's claiming what." Balakian said. When asked if had been in contact with Johnson-Klein, Balakian said he would not name any of the customers he had been in contact with.

Attorney Dan Bacon says the case against his client is weak, and believes that is why the DMV made a public spectacle of Vartanian's arrest. Bacon had promised the District Attorney he would bring Vartanian to the jail at one in the afternoon. The DMV arrested him at a restaurant an hour earlier.

Vartanian was kept waiting in handcuffs for half an hour for a police wagon to arrive. Bacon says they wanted to make sure the news media was there. "This was an opportunity to make a show for the public and they succeeded in it," said Bacon.

This case is just the latest in a series of legal problems for Vartanian. He's also facing spousal abuse and other charges for allegedly assaulting his wife. He was also wanted on bad check charges in Nevada, but those charges were suspended after he agreed to make arrangements to pay a two hundred thousand dollar gambling debt to a Las Vegas Casino.

Kirk Vartanian put himself in the spotlight in recent weeks for his attempt to revive the failed Granite Park restaurant and night club complex in Fresno.

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