Vartanian Pleads Not Guilty to 16 Charges

August 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Fresno businessman pleaded not guilty to 16 grand theft charges. Kirk Vartanian stood by his attorneys as he made the plea in a Fresno County courtroom Wednesday morning.Investigators arrested Vartanian in early August. He is accused of defrauding customers at his Fresno luxury car dealership.

One of the alleged victims is former Fresno State Basketball Coach Stacy Johnson-Klein. Vartanian's attorneys say their client is innocent. They want investigators to release documents so he can continue to fulfill his business obligations.

"There are documents necessary to complete transactions that were in the works. I've made requests. The computers were taken. The hard drives were supposed to copied and returned," said Defense Attorney Daniel Bacon.

He returns to court in late September to deal with the grand theft charges.

In a separate case, Vartanian is facing domestic violence charges.

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