The boys are back
But things aren't going
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
November 24, 2008
VEGAS - So much for keeping a low profile!
Reputed Bonnano mob soldier
Vinny Faraci (bottom center) was part of the notorious crew that ran the
now defunct Crazy
Horse Too strip joint. During his tenure, dozens of club patrons were
So many complaints were filed
with local authorities -- and ignored -- that the feds finally had to step
in and prosecute Vinny and 15 of his henchmen for various felonies. Faraci
landed in the federal penitentiary for his crimes, and the Crazy Horse
was seized by the federal government.
Despite being a twice convicted
felon, Faraci's special management talents remain in high demand in our
local strip club industry. Three months after his January 24, 2007 sentencing,
Vinny made every effort to obtain a key employee license from the Clark
County Commission so that he could run a club called Eden when he got out
Faraci was trying to abide
by the arbitrary liquor licensing laws of Clark County -- but he didn't
have much time to file his application before going to jail. Just nine
weeks before he was scheduled to report to prison, David Chesnoff, the
law partner of LV Mayor Oscar Goodman, rushed to present the county liquor
and gaming licensing board with Vincent Faraci's formal application seeking
"determination of suitability."
It looked like a done deal
until INSIDE VEGAS received a call from a county business license official
who asked not to be named. I revealed the scam, and Chesnoff swiftly withdrew
Faraci's application. On April 30, 2007, AmericanMafia.com published "Faraci
Secretly Applies for a County Liquor License" that quoted Clark County
Commissioner Tom Collins stating; "Someone tried to pull a fast one." The
column also quoted the unnamed business license official stating; "Faraci
had a high powered attorney who wanted it on the consent agenda" so the
item could be passed along with hundreds of others in one vote without
But Vinny didn't flinch in
the face of defeat.
After his release from prison
five months later, Eden opened with Vinny and his wife Phyllis firmly in
charge. License or not, the two time felon was running the club, and police
and county officials looked the other way.
An INSIDE VEGAS investigator
confirmed Faraci's involvement by applying for a job. When the investigator
entered the club one afternoon, she was directed to Phyllis Faraci who
did the initial interview. Phyllis then asked our source to return at 9
PM to talk to Vinny. The investigator later met with Mr. Faraci who took
her application and said he would call her when there was an opening. However,
Eden closed shortly thereafter. Hard times, or possibly higher ambition
caused Faraci to seek employment elsewhere.
In the meantime, the 26,000
square foot gentleman's club first known as Jaguars; then Scores; now Rick's
Cabaret was looking for a manager. Who better than Vinny Faraci?
But Rick's Cabaret is owned
by a company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and would face much
greater scrutiny than did Eden if it hired a man with Faraci's baggage.
On November 13, investigative
reporters at the Las Vegas Review Journal and LV Sun
raced to tell the Faraci/Rick's Cabaret story with the headlines; "Club
operator hires reputed mob figure;" and "Hire
brings baggage to strip joint seeking permit."
On November 19 after all
the negative publicity, the Review-Journal reported, "Strip
club owners, 'Vinny' part ways."
David Chesnoff (on right with law partners Gardner Jolly and Oscar Goodman)
and his connections to the mayor and Senator Harry Read couldn't help Vinny
get the Rick's Cabaret job.
But that's not the way it
was before Vinny's most recent stay in prison. For over a decade, local
authorities including District
Attorney David Roger, ignored Faraci's propensity for violence.
On July 26, 2004, the INSIDE
read; "Vegas police discourage couple from filing crime report against
protected topless bar. Hapless tourist accidentally dissed a 'made man'
-- then met our city's finest."
The column told the story
of a San Diego tourist named Eddie (last name withheld by request) who
dared complain that his girl friend had been mistreated while the couple
was visiting the Crazy Horse Too. Eddie demanded to see the manager who
at the time was Faraci. According to witnesses, that's all it took to inspire
a vicious beating that left Eddie with multiple cuts, a sprained knee,
and a concussion.
Though Eddie and his girlfriend
pressed charges, DA Roger did not prosecute Faraci and his bouncers.
There's a loose but fascinating
connection between U.S. Senator Harry Reid, attorney David Chesnoff, attorney
Jay Brown, Federal Court Judge Kent Dawson, Mayor Oscar Goodman, and Vinny
Judge Dawson gave Faraci
the most lenient sentence possible. Faraci was represented by Chesnoff
who is Mayor Goodman's law partner. Goodman has another law partner
named Jay Brown who is United States Senator Harry Reid's business
partner in a very questionable land deal. Goodman and Brown were once
the Crazy Horse Too's corporate
Brown (pictured on left with Mike Signorelli) represented a man who was
purportedly buying the Crazy Horse from its former owner Rick Rizzolo who
was also a Goodman Law Firm client. The deal fell through, but Brown's
appearance before the city council put his Crazy Horse/Harry Reid connections
in the spotlight.
Coincidentally, Brown's business
partner Senator Harry Reid appointed
Judge Kent Dawson to the Federal Bench for life even though the highest
office Dawson ever achieved was Justice of the Peace in Henderson, Nevada.
Dawson's brother John was the attorney who arranged a questionable
asset protection scheme for Rizzolo after he was ordered to pay over $28
million in back taxes and other penalties by the Federal Court. John Dawson
is also the current corporate agent for the Crazy Horse Too, and his law
partners at Lionel, Sawyer, and Collins include two of Senator Reid's sons.
So far with John Dawson's help, Rizzolo and his ex-wife have gotten away
with not paying one dime of their obligations, and their Dawson connections
have not been reported in any local newspaper.
Not once during Faraci's
trial did Judge Dawson disclose that his brother is the Crazy Horse Too's
corporate resident agent, or that his brother arranged to hide the Rizzolo's
assets from forfeiture, or that he was appointed to the Federal Bench by
a US Senator who is the business partner of Jay Brown who is the law partner
of David Chesnoff who represented Faraci at trial.
The son of reputed Bonanno
crime family captain "Johnny Green" Faraci of New York, Vinny worked at
the Crazy Horse during the years patrons were beaten for not signing inflated
credit card tabs. Before his most recent conviction for tax evasion, Faraci
had a felony mail fraud conviction on his record, but that didn't bear
on his latest sentence.
The weakest link in this
chain of justice is Judge Dawson who put Faraci away for only five months.
This inspired Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith to write;
"Although the New York Crime Commission confirmed Faraci's mob status,
U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson said the defendant's underworld fraternal
order had no bearing on his decision to sentence Faraci to just 10 months
in jail with five of that to be served in a halfway house. He received
a wrist slap and no mob jacket. If, as Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Johnson
contended at his January sentencing, Faraci condoned the occasional vicious
beating at the club, the judge apparently wasn't much impressed."
|Full docket text for document 272:
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS - Sentencing and Disposition as to Vincent Faraci
held on 1/24/2007 before Judge Kent J. Dawson. Crtrm Administrator: Judy
Harris; AUSA: Eric Johnson; Def Counsel: David Chesnoff; USPO: Lucille
Monterde & Joel Nelson; Court Reporter/FTR #: Felicia Zabin, Crt. Rprtr.;
Time of Hearing: 9:10 a.m.; Defendant is present. Sentence is imposed as
to count(s) Two of the Superseding Criminal Information. The sentence imposed
is a split sentence, 5 months incarceration and 5 months of home confinement
with electronic monitoring paid by the defendant. Defendant is advised
of right to file an appeal. Defendant is released on current terms and
conditions until the BOP makes it's designation. IT IS ORDERED the defendant
shall report in person to the designated facility by 12:00 Noon on 7/2/07
(SEE JUDGMENT). (no image attached) (JJH)
The judge give Faraci a slap
on the wrist after Chesnoff fought for house arrest saying Faraci is "engaged
in a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife. If Faraci is incarcerated
for a lengthy period of time, his wife might be granted full custody and
take the children out of state."
However, Chesnoff neglected
to mention that Faraci's ex-wife was then married to Rick Rizzolo's criminal
defense attorney Tony Sgro, and Sgro would probably not have approved of
his new wife moving to another state.
Judge Dawson appeared overly
sympathetic to Faraci, then dutifully lightened his sentence. But the judge
wasn't through coddling him. Judge Dawson even gave Vinny a pass to go
to the beach while he was serving his sentence:
I may be overly sensitive,
but it seems all too incestuous that a judge would give leniency and a
beach pass to a mobbed-up defendant who was represented by the law partner
of the business partner of the U.S. Senator who appointed him to the bench
And, Senator Reid's son Rory
is the Chairman of the Clark County Commission that almost granted Faraci
a liquor license while he was serving his sentence, but that's not important.
What is important is that
the boys aren't doing that well. While Vinny is back from Cabo and looking
for work in Vegas, his friend Rick Rizzolo's brother Ralph obviously tried
to commit suicide last September by crashing
his Mercedes into the side of the Crazy Horse Too building. And Rick
Rizzolo's son Dominic will be sentenced on January 14, 2009 for stabbing
a man during a botched extortion attempt.
In Ralph's case, the District
Attorney did not investigate even though he caused damage to federal property,
and in Dominic's case, the DA is letting him off on a plea bargain.
Yes, the boys are back in
town, but maybe they'd rather be somewhere else.