Missing Rifle business owner could be in Utah
A Rifle business owner, who is wanted for failing to appear in court earlier this month, is reportedly missing and could be Utah, according to a report taken by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
Larry Fief filed a missing person report with the office just before 10 a.m. on Jan. 8. The report was a request to help locate his wife, Kyra Fief, owner of Cruise Control Auto & Truck Accessories Inc.
According to the report, which was obtained through a records request, Larry Fief knew that his wife had an active warrant out for her arrest — which was due to her failure to appear in court earlier this month — but he was concerned because he had last seen her around 7 a.m. on Jan. 7 at their residence in Battlement Mesa.
When Kyra did not appear at the business, Larry asked his daughter in law to go check on Kyra. The daughter in law reported not seeing Kyra, but added that her purse, cell phone, medication and inhaler was on the kitchen counter.
“Larry advised that Kyra had been acting differently later but nothing he could pinpoint in their relationship,” according to the report.
Larry informed a sheriff’s deputy that Kyra’s wallet, which contained her driver’s license, credit cards and debit cards, was still in the purse. Kyra’s vehicle was not at the residence.
A neighbor reported seeing Kyra leave the residence around 8:30 a.m. Jan. 7. The neighbor did not communicate with Kyra.
The deputy contacted Kyra’s mother in Grand Junction — her only immediate family in the nearby area — who informed the deputy that she had not heard from Kyra since Jan. 2.
On Jan. 9, Larry contacted the deputy and informed him that Kyra did have a debit card and she used it in Cedar City, Utah on Jan. 8, according to a bank statement.
Walter Stowe, public information officer with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, said foul play is not suspected and deputies are not actively searching for Fief, aside from incidental contact.
An attempt to reach Larry Fief at the business last Friday was unsuccessful. A person who answered the phone said Fief had to leave for a family emergency and would not return until Monday. An email sent Friday afternoon to the Cruise Control email address was not returned.
Kyra Fief was supposed to appear in Rifle Municipal Court Jan. 6 after the city of Rifle asked that the remainder of a one-year jail sentence be reinstated.
The business owner pleaded no contest to charges that she violated Rifle’s municipal code by failing to turn over financial documents for an audit. Through the legal process, an audit was eventually conducted and Fief agreed to pay $104,888 in restitution for unremitted sales tax and legal fees, according to court documents.
After agreeing to make monthly restitution payments of $4,649, Judge Victor Zerbi suspended 355 days of Fief’s one-year jail sentence this past August. After making the first payment in September, a check for October’s payment bounced, Kathy Pototsky, court administrator, told Zerbi in court on Jan. 6. Fief still owes $99,239 in restitution payments.
When she failed to appear in court Jan. 6, Zerbi issued a bench warrant for her arrest and set a $100,000 cash payment bond.
The warrant and related bond are the most recent incidents in a tumultuous past couple of years financially for the couple.
The IRS noticed two separate liens on the couple’s property in 2012. One was for $4,288 in unpaid income tax from the Fiefs and the second was for $38,574 in unpaid taxes by Kyra Fief, according to the lien notices.
The woes do not end with unpaid taxes. In October, Larry Fief filed an “intent to cure” to prevent their home from being foreclosed on and sold. Fief informed the Garfield County Public Trustee that he intended to cure the issue by March 8. The couple has until the day before the planned sale of their home, which would be March 22, to pay the full cure amount.
A December letter from the trustee states that $18,337 is needed to prevent the sale of their home on March 23. Two previous foreclosures, one in 2010 and another in 2013, were withdrawn.
Since Jan. 6, the business has not remitted sales tax and the city of Rifle has filed a lien on the personal property owned by the business, according to Matt Sturgeon, city manager.
“Customers should be aware that the sales tax they are being charged is not being remitted to help pay for municipal services,” Sturgeon said, adding that other legal options to “recover taxpayer dollars” are being considered by the city.
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