Kirk Vartanian Problems Spread to Family

August 10, 2009 7:05:12 PM PDT
Problems for Fresno businessman Kirk Vartanian has now spread to a company owned by his family. A DMV investigator says Kirk's sister Sona Vartanian is now under investigation for theft. Investigators received a complaint that Sona sold a boat warranty but never activated the coverage. Those are nearly the same allegations that landed Kirk in jail. Investigators descended on Pacific Marine Center early Monday morning. They removed several thousand dealer jackets to determine if Sona Vartanian committed theft. DMV investigator Tom Wilson said Kirk Vartanian's arrest lead to the raid at his family's boat dealership. Wilson said, "As a direct result of the previous investigation, several parties came forward to DMV investigations as a result of media attention to indicate the same type of activities are occurring at this location."

Kirk was arrested last week and charged with 16-counts of grand theft. All are related to how he handled business at his Fresno auto dealership. Wilson said Kirk Vartanian is not connected to his sister's case.

We found a document filed in Madera County. Kirk used his real name Krikor Vartanian to file a fictitious business statement. Despite signs showing the boating dealership named as Pacific Marine Center, the document listed the company as Vartanian Auto and Marine, Inc. It appears Kirk signed the document and listed his position as "PR", a common abbreviation for public relations. Michael Margosian is the family's attorney and had no comment about the allegations.

Steve Rodriguez said five years ago he bought a boat from the Vartanain family, and he experienced a problem with the warranty. Rodriguez said, "The warranty place had no paperwork of my warrant, but I had all the paper work at home. I had to bring that in and it was taken care of."

Sona Vartanian has not been charged. DMV investigators say they will go through all the evidence seized Monday and it could lead to grant theft charges.

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