Clovis News

Business briefs: Valley BBB warns of fraud

The Better Business Bureau of Central California is warning consumers about scammers posing as businesses that have good BBB reliability reports.

The agency has issued a fraud warning over Chartered Financial Investment Corp., whose Web site links to a B+ rating for a legitimate Clovis company, Chartered Financial Group. The fraudulent company's Burlingame address is an empty office space and its phones are disconnected, but appears to continue to operate from Canada, the Better Business Bureau reports.

A San Jose moving company, Courtesy Van Lines, reportedly has co-opted the A+ rating of Fresno's Courtesy Moving. The San Jose company has an F rating with the BBB of San Jose, and its state license from the Public Utilities Commission is suspended.

Customers can verify a company's Better Business Bureau rating, and make sure the phone numbers and addresses match, by visiting

Fresno First marks profit

Fresno First Bank reported a $248,000 profit in the first quarter of 2010, a turnaround from the $561,000 loss it saw in the same period last year.

In its unaudited financial results, the bank reported assets of $131.9 million, deposits totaling $116.3 million and outstanding loans of $82.6 million as of March 31 -- all increases compared to the first three months of 2009.

The value of nonaccrual loans -- problem loans that are no longer generating interest income for the bank -- also declined over the past year, from almost $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2009 to $378,000 by March 31.

3 in Valley on tax debt list

Three Valley residents are among the state Franchise Tax Board's 250 largest state income-tax debtors.

The list, updated Friday, reports the names of individuals or businesses against whom tax liens have been filed by the state. In the Valley, they are Jerry W. Youngblood of Visalia, owing $514,910.95 on a personal income tax lien filed in 1995; Stephen E. Griffin of Fresno, owing $369,126.30 on a personal income tax lien filed in 2008; and Xochil Gonzales of Firebaugh, owing $358,554.08 on a personal income tax lien filed in 2009.

State law requires the tax board to publicly post the names of the 250 largest income tax debtors owing more than $100,000 to the state. The board collected more than $20 million in payments from taxpayers to keep their names off the list. The list is online at