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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

The Hammer Has Dropped
Indictments begin to roll. Who'll be next?

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
January 24, 2005

Since February 21, 2003, when 80 agents of the FBI and IRS raided the Crazy Horse Too strip club, speculation ran rampant as to when the Feds would complete their investigations and issue indictments.

Well, that time has come.

At high noon on Wednesday, January 19, FBI agents arrested swing shift manager and neck breaker Bobby D'Apice as he stepped from his new Cadillac. Thrown to the ground in his $3,000 silk suit, D'Apice was searched at gunpoint.

      FBI agents hold D'Apice at gunpoint
    ( photo by Buffalo Jim Barrier)

According to a front page story in Thursday's Las Vegas SUN, "Buffalo Jim Barrier, who owns a mechanic shop next door to the Crazy Horse, said he saw FBI agents arrest D'Apice in the parking lot of the club as he was going to work. 'He was getting out of his car, and they grabbed him and took him to the ground,' Barrier said. 'They handcuffed him and then took him away.' Barrier alleges that Rizzolo has tried to have Barrier's businesses shut down so that the Crazy Horse Too could expand. Barrier has leased property in the strip mall since 1978, and the Crazy Horse Too opened in 1984."

Wednesday evening while the club remained open for business, local TV news ran lead stories about the take down. (Click here for streaming video: KVBC TV and KLAS TV) The next morning, headlines blared across the front page of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

FEDERAL INVESTIGATION: Club manager arrested
Indictment alleges racketeering at Crazy Horse Too
Thursday, January 20, 2005

Federal law enforcement officials arrest Crazy Horse Too shift manager Robert D'Apice
shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the strip club. He is charged with
racketeering, tax evasion and making false statements to a grand jury.
(Review-Journal photo by John Gurzinski)

Also expected to be indicted for Racketeering and other charges is the club's purported owner, Frederick "Rick" Rizzolo, and several of his family members. However, part of the basis of the Fed's investigation involves suspected hidden ownership of the lucrative business, possibly by members of the Bonnano crime family.

I've been writing about the brutality at the Crazy Horse since 2002 when INSIDE VEGAS began. I steadfastly believe that Rizzolo, et .al., have for years been receiving improper help from allies at City Hall. First in 1998, from former Mayor Jan Jones and ex-Councilman Mike McDonald who allowed the Crazy Horse to expand by 6,000 square feet without benefit of building permits or additional parking. Then in 1999, when present Mayor Oscar Goodman took office and a series of brutal beatings went uninvestigated by the City, Clark County District Attorney, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. At the behest of Goodman who received $40,000 in campaign contributions from Rizzolo, and Councilwoman Janet Moncrief who employed Rizzolo's PR man as her "transition team leader" and advisor, Treasures, a less influential gentleman's club, had its liquor license revoked in Spring 2004 for only one conviction for solicitation for prostitution.

Meanwhile, the mayhem was allowed to continue just down the street.

Treasures was the Crazy Horse's biggest competitor, and coincidentally, Oscar Goodman was the criminal defense attorney for several key employees of the Crazy Horse prior to his election. Treasures was ruining the Horse's business, but that's no longer the case thanks to the alleged actions of City Director of Business Activity Jim DiFiorie who is accused of selectively prosecuting Treasures at the behest of Goodman and Moncrief. The $50 million dollar club went dark less than a year after it opened.

The owners of Treasures have just amended their lawsuit against the city. Sometime in the coming week, their attorneys will be filing for a preliminary injunction and hope to be in court within 30 to 45 days.

In the meantime, local cops and paramedics were refusing to write up incidents at the Crazy Horse, and cops often threatened to arrest those who dared file complaints.

Bobby D'Apice (brown jacket) escorts Las Vegas Paramedics into Crazy Horse Too
for coffee and eye candy. Many recent incidents of violence at the club have gone
unreported by LVMPD and LVFD personnel. (Photo by Buffalo Jim Barrier)

All this while District Judge Nancy M. Saitta seemed to get all civil cases filed against the place, and after accepting over $9,000 in campaign contributions from Rizzolo and his associates, ruled in the club's favor almost every time.

Judge Nancy Saitta

Other local judges also had their hands out.

Municipal Judge George Assad
received $5,000 from Rizzolo

After the Feds intervened, amazingly little changed. As recent as August 2004, bar patrons were still allegedly beaten by bouncers for refusing to sign inflated credit card tabs, and complaints continued being ignored by the police department and DA. This cavalier attitude probably made the work of the FBI that much easier since the bar's operatives were not covering their tracks.

As news reports speculated that indictments were imminent, several suspected hidden owners attempted to divest themselves of real estate and personal property possibly to avoid asset confiscation. To the dismay of the new Sheriff who inherited a slew of crooked cops from his predecessor, one Crazy Horse executive even hired a police detective who moonlights as a real estate agent to sell his million dollar house.

Rick Rizzolo's name appears as the sole owner of record on legal papers along with several corporations he heads including RICRIZ LLC, RICBAR LLC, and THE POWER COMPANY, INC. But rumors have it that the Feds believe he's just a front, a "Mr. Cleanface," placed in the business to take the heat and maintain political connections by doling out campaign contributions, alleged sexual favors, and throwing lavish parties. Rizzolo is also known to be a degenerate gambler, something I'm sure the IRS hasn't overlooked.

"He marches into the casino surrounded by eye candy. The bosses only let male's deal to him because of his foul language. After usually losing up to $350,000 per night, he makes a scene screaming obscenities. If he wins, he throws thousands of dollars at the dealers and bosses. What a nut!"

These are the words of a local dealer who says he often deals to Rizzolo.

Last week, for the forth time, Rizzolo failed to appear for a taped deposition in the Harassment lawsuit brought by his next door neighbor Buffalo Jim Barrier. Barrier's attorney Gus Flangas wanted the court to compel Rizzolo to appear and be deposed. Evidently, Rizzolo was in the hospital at the scheduled date, and the court and Flangas believed his described infirmity to be true. However, Rizzolo had recovered enough to show up at his business thirty minutes after Bobby D'Apice was arrested.

    Rick Rizzolo
 (Photo by Mike Christ)

Now the clock is ticking and the Las Vegas media is standing by to cover what promises to be the biggest organized crime crack down in our town's history.

Crooked politicians, judges, cops, and mobsters are expected to be linked to hidden money and payoffs of monumental proportions. The beating death of Scott David Fau and the crippling of Kirk Henry are expected to again become headlines as the truth emerges and well known heads roll.

This sad story broke for the first time on, and therefore our readers will be the first to know when the long-awaited hammer drops for the final time, and the lights go out in the blood soaked Crazy Horse Too once and for all.

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