Newport Beach entrepreneur Albert Mardikian has agreed to pay a civil fine of $175,000 for selling exotic foreign cars that did not meet California vehicle emission standards, the state attorney general's office said. Under the settlement, Mardikian also agreed not to import or sell cars not certified for sale in California.
The agreement, announced Thursday, ends Mardikian's five-year battle with the attorney general's office, which five years ago accused him and his company, Trend Import Sales Inc., of violating state law by selling so-called "gray market" import autos that were not modified to meet California emission requirements.
Thirty-five related federal charges--stemming from violations of federal Environmental Protection Agency emission standards--were resolved in March when Mardikian began a six-month prison term for making false statements about tests on the cars, said Deputy Atty. Gen. Sylvia Hale.
Mardikian had contended that the cars passed state emission standards. He and his attorneys could not be reached for comment.