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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:

US Attorneys side with bank against beating victim

"Not since Tony Spilotro has there been as notorious a hoodlum
as Rick Rizzolo. For the bank to say they didn't know is farcical."

- Stan Hunterton, attorney for Kirk Henry, 2/22/08

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
February 25, 2007

Las Vegas - In a shocking turn of events, US Attorneys for Nevada, Gregory Brower and Daniel Hollingsworth, have taken the side of a California bank asking US Federal Judge Philip Pro to remove beating victim Kirk Henry from being first in line to receive his $9 million dollar court ordered settlement to be taken from the sale of the forfeited Crazy Horse Too topless bar

On February 15, Brower and Hollingsworth filed a JOINDER with Security Pacific Bank asking the court to allow the bank to conduct a fire sale -- a move that could open the door for convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo or one of his associates to secretly regain control of his seized saloon for around $5 million dollars, the amount the bank foolishly loaned Rizzolo weeks before he was indicted.

The US Attorney's purported reason for helping the bank? The bank claims it didn't know in advance it was about to grant a loan to a known Mafioso, so it deserves to be first in line to recoup its losses.

In addition to trying to take Kirk Henry's settlement and give it to a bank, Brower and Hollingsworth asked Judge Pro to conduct a hearing behind closed doors with the bank's attorneys allowed to argue via telephone; deny Henry's request for discovery including an investigation into where Rizzolo hid his personal assets; and deny Henry's request for a trial in open court.

The government said they were doing this to save taxpayer money because they believed Henry would not prevail at trial, and by cutting short his attorney's requests, taxpayers would save the cost of fighting the bank in open court, then losing.

This wasn't the first time Nevada US Attorneys have raised eyebrows in this case. They have a history of trying to keep the public in the dark regarding the Crazy Horse Too. On August 13, 2007, they told Judge Pro, "The general public should not be allowed to know the proposed offers, the proprietary information, etc." regarding the sale of the topless bar.

Unless the sale of a mobbed-up topless bar is a matter of national security, the Nevada US Attorney's request was way out of line, and they themselves deserve to be closely looked at by the Department of Justice for making such a request.

What are they trying to hide? Who are they working for?

If the US Attorneys get their way, Rizzolo could have a straw buyer standing by to use the $5 million he stole from Security Pacific to secretly buy his property back from the bank that loaned him the money. This could also involve a loan officer who may have been in on the deal. The US Attorneys for Nevada may be inadvertently (or purposefully) helping this occur!

In their JOINDER, no reason was given why the US Attorneys are spending taxpayer dollars assisting a private corporation to fight the efforts of a quadriplegic whose neck was broken by the manager of the business they loaned money to. The government should instead be fighting to make sure such a tragedy never happens again!

In a 2006 court ordered settlement, Rizzolo was ordered to pay Henry $10 million dollars for his injuries. So far Henry has only been able to recover $1 million, and that was paid by Rizzolo's insurance. The rest of the money was hidden, or is tied to a "substitute asset," the Crazy Horse real estate that appraised at only $5.4 million, far less than what Henry is owed.

The question is, while his life long medical bills pile up, why are Nevada US Attorneys placing road blocks in Kirk Henry's way? It just doesn't make sense.
The bank and US Attorney's actions also completely contradict a STIPULATION filed on September 1, 2007 by Judge Pro ordering that Henry be first in line to receive any proceeds from the sale of the Crazy Horse real estate and building. Is it possible Judge Pro will reverse his decision?

Had it not been for Henry wisely choosing former United States Prosecutors Stan Hunterton and Donald Campbell as his legal team to sue Rizzolo for attempted murder, the Crazy Horse would still be open, extorting hapless tourists into signing inflated credit card tabs through intimidation or the actual use of force.

The US Attorneys for Nevada owe Mr. Henry a debt of gratitude for pursuing his case, instead of trying to further injure him.

Only Federal law enforcement officials could have ended Rizzolo's reign of terror because he had effectively neutralized our local District Attorney David Roger, who since being elected in 2002 repeatedly refused to prosecute cases involving violent acts at the Crazy Horse that were brought to him by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Just before Roger's election in which
Rizzolo was his chief campaign fund raiser, and Rizzolo's lawyer Tony Sgro provided free office space for a campaign headquarters, Roger's predecessor outgoing DA Stu Bell in December 2001 told a TV audience that he had five Crazy Horse Too cases meeting the "probable cause" standard waiting for his successor to prosecute. After being sworn in, David Roger trashed the five cases including the 1995 wrongful death of Scott David Fau, and the attempted murder of Kirk Henry that had occurred just three months before Roger took office.

The family of both victims were then forced to pursue Rizzolo and his goons through expensive civil court proceedings with no help from the DA's office, hence the intervention by the Federal government who have so far not taken action against Roger for malfeasance.

Judge Pro's STIPULATION placing Henry in first position put other Crazy Horse creditors including the IRS and Security Pacific Bank in the awkward position of having to go after Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's hidden personal assets if the bar doesn't sell for more than what is owed Mr. Henry. But Nevada US Attorneys for some reason want Judge Pro to reconsider his decision to help Henry.

Two INSIDE VEGAS readers offer their opinions on this subject:
Steve: They are working for the permanent government: real estate interests, gambling  casinos, LCN, and working towards the lucrative jobs they will get after government service. An ordinary federal employee slaves for 25-30 years for a shitty little pension and no Social Security. I bet the US Attorneys get a fat deal when they leave after just a few years. They will wind up in high horsepower law firms or some equally lucrative spot in a casino where Rizzolo gambles millions each year.
Steve:  I am not surprised that our government would side with thugs and felons over the average citizen. As a Nevada State Assemblyman I have seen first hand the hypocrisy, deceit and malice of bureaucracy in action. I have seen State Senators pray in a bible study with all apparent sincerity one day and then warn me to not upset the same crooks you write about on the next. Correct me if I wrong, but are the Federal Attorneys the same bunch who regularly seek to prosecute the Border Patrol if those men are too successful in stopping smugglers from bringing drugs into the US? Aren't these the same official Mafioso's who praised the character of a convicted drug runner while jailing the two men who shot this thug in the butt, turning him back toward mother Mexico? We have two levels of justice in this country, one for the wealthy and powerful, one for the rest of us. 
Bob Beers
Nevada State Assemblyman

But the actions of the brother of another Federal Court Judge have made seizing the Rizzolo's personal assets next to impossible in the event the Crazy Horse does not sell for an amount adequate to pay all Rizzolo's debts.
Rizzolo's assets were cleverly hidden, and according to the FBI, "commingled with the criminal proceeds and cannot be divided without difficulty," through the actions of "asset protection" attorney John Dawson, brother of Federal Court Judge Kent Dawson, the judge who sentenced 16 Crazy Horse defendants to feather light sentences without disclosing his brother was one of Rizzolo's attorneys.

How did this all come about?
I believe ex-US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez  in 2007 fired eight US Attorneys because these prosecutors were about to go after high level public officials who had mob connections.
In California he fired US Attorney Carol Lamb who prosecuted the "Operation G Sting" case that brought down several San Diego city officials and convicted Senator Harry Reid's Nevada protégé Dario Herrera.
In Nevada, Gonzalez fired Daniel Bogden who was prosecuting "Operation Crazy Horse," and reportedly looking at city hall connections to Rizzolo through Mayor Oscar Goodman, ex-mayor Jan Jones, ex-councilman Michael McDonald, and attorney Jay Brown who is a business partner of Senator Reid.

Now Bogden's replacements are doing the opposite of their predecessor. It appears they're trying to help those who have connections in Washington DC.
Judge Dawson was appointed to the bench by Senator Reid, the business partner of Jay Brown who was one of the Crazy Horse attorneys. Brown is also the law partner of LV Mayor Oscar Goodman who was once Rizzolo's criminal defense attorney. Both Brown and Goodman once served as Rizzolo's corporate agents, and Goodman for a two year period was forced to recuse on all items involving the Crazy Horse because of these associations.
Now after making one of the most questionable commercial loans in banking history, Security Pacific Bank of California -- after learning their client had hidden their $5 million, and that the asset he used to secure the loan had been seized by the government -- say they didn't know in advance that their client was a crook.

At an abbreviated hearing held last Friday, Stan Hunterton the attorney for the Henry family told the court, "Not since Tony Spilotro has there been as notorious a hoodlum as Rick Rizzolo. For the bank to say they didn't know is farcical."

He continued," Give us time for a hearing. Don't rely on an affidavit from some negligent loan officer, some bank executive who, Lord knows why, decided to made this loan."

Hunterton's statement was in response to a MOTION by attorneys for Security Pacific Bank that was enjoined by Nevada's US Attorneys pleading the bank was not aware of Rizzolo's legal problems before they granted the loan.
This, after the bank's loan committee was fully informed days before funding that their applicant was facing federal indictments for racketeering, and less than a year after Dateline NBC aired a 30 minute segment on crimes at the Crazy Horse Too.
I know the bank was informed well in advance. I was the one who sent the bank a package of information that should have given them a heads up in time to reconsider gifting $5 million of their investor's dollars to someone who had no intention of paying it back.

Now that their money's in jeopardy, Security Pacific's attorneys are blaming Steve Miller for their problems, and the US Attorneys for Nevada are agreeing with them!

Their claim according to the bank's MOTION is: "We also researched the background of the author of many of the most derogatory Internet articles we had found, a person named Steve Miller. We determined that Miller owned the land on which a competing adult club was located, which we viewed as providing a potential incentive for him to attack Rizzolo and the Crazy Horse Too. We also received information from the borrower's representatives indicating that in 2003 Miller settled a libel suit brought by Rizzolo against Miller for $62,000."

Based on this "background" provided by Rizzolo's "representative," mob attorney Tony Sgro, Security Pacific Bank threw out hundreds of Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Review Journal, KLAS TV, KTNV TV, KVBC TV, MSNBC, and NBC News articles I provided to them, and blindly granted Rizzolo the loan -- something Federal Bank Examiners may find of interest.

Forget about me. The bank took the word of a mob lawyer over the work product of dozens of investigative journalists!

As a point of information, Rizzolo sued me for libel in 2000 after I began writing about his racketeering activity, and my insurance company paid him $62,000 to drop his suit. Insurance companies do that sort of thing to save legal fees without the consent of the insured. However, my racketeering allegations were confirmed in 2006 when Rizzolo's corporation pleaded guilty to racketeering.

Mr. Sgro provided "background" that should've never been taken seriously, and now the bank is paying the price.

Otherwise, I derive no percentage of revenues from the tenant that leases my land, and his upscale clientele wouldn't be caught dead (no pun intended) in a Rizzolo-owned topless joint.

I supplied Security Pacific Bank these Internet links on October 30, 2005: and:

The bank admitted in their MOTION, and the US Attorneys agreed in their JOINDER, that the material I provided was carefully studied in time to squelch the loan, but the material was completely ignored because of who sent it.

Giving Mr. Sgro the benefit of the doubt that I provided unverifiable information and rumor based on my purported conflicts of interest, the bank's loan committee still excluded every article I sent written by veteran investigative journalists
more skilled than myself. Writers and reporters with no supposed ax to grind. Therefore there was no excuse for the bank to blow $5 million dollars on such a flaky loan with so much factual information at hand.  Their "shoot the messenger" defense just doesn't hold water.

But that may be a moot point.

US Attorney Hollingsworth on Friday announced for the umpteenth time that the Crazy Horse has a buyer willing to pay $30 million dollars!
Hollingsworth told the judge that he is very hopeful -- again -- that the sale will close within 30 days. That said, Judge Pro temporarily ruled that the MOTION filed by Security Pacific and the JOINDER filed by the US Attorneys are moot -- unless the sale falls through.
Judge Pro ruled that, based on Hollingsworth's hope-filled reannouncement, the court will hold all MOTIONS until the sale closes.
Judge Pro then asked Hollingsworth for more information on the sale and was told that a down payment would be deposited in 15 days, with an additional 15 days allocated for the buyer to do his due diligence and find the rest of the funds.
Upon hearing this, Judge Pro stated that if the sale closes, "All of them will be paid," referring to the Henrys, IRS, Buffalo Jim Barrier, City of Las Vegas, State of Nevada, and others who have claims against Rizzolo. "If a sale takes place all MOTIONS will be mooted," stated Judge Pro in hopeful anticipation of finding an equitable solution to this protracted case.
Hollingsworth closed by stating that the court will have to approve any sale before the Plaintiffs receive their money.
This is the fifth time in the history of this case that Hollingsworth gleefully announced that the Crazy Horse has been sold for a price in excess of $30 million.
After the hearing, I left the court with sincere hope that someone not associated with organized crime does purchase the Crazy Horse, and that Kirk Henry will receive full financial compensation for his pain and suffering without having to try to locate and attach Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's hidden personal assets, though money will never adequately compensate for all the damage the Rizzolos have caused.

Vinny Faraci reportedly back in Vegas adult business

Recently released from
prison, Bonnono crime family member and former Crazy Horse manager Vinny Faraci
is reportedly back in full force operating another Vegas strip club.

Faraci hired Mayor Oscar Goodman's law partner
David Chesnoff
to try to sneak an item on to the County Commission's Consent Agenda that would have granted him a liquor license without a public hearing.

Hundreds of Consent Agenda items are usually approved in one vote without discussion, so this could have slipped by had I not been tipped off and authored the April 30, 2007 INSIDE VEGAS column, "Faraci Secretly Applies for a County Liquor License."

Included in the column was the following agenda item that blew a lot of minds in local government circles. A known mobster was applying for a liquor license from his cell in the Federal Penitentiary, and no one was supposed to know. Only in Vegas!

Following my column, Chesnoff wisely withdrew his client's application.

But according to several reliable sources, Vinny, through his sister Phyllis, is happily back in the strip club business secretly operating Eden, a topless bar on Valley View Blvd. near the Rio -- and the FBI is closely monitoring his activities.

Vinny was one of those handed a feather light sentence by Judge Dawson. Faraci was convicted of participating in the criminal activity that resulted in the closure and forfeiture of the Crazy Horse Too, but he served only a minimal 5 months in prison even after
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Johnson contended at his sentencing that Faraci condoned beatings at the Crazy Horse, and the New York Crime Commission confirmed Faraci's mob status according to Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith.

Neither Vinny Faraci nor his sister are listed as owners of Eden in the files of the Nevada Secretary of State. Records indicate that PSN-NV, LLC is managed by Paul Anderson and Christian Moore, but the stockholders are not required to be listed per Nevada law.

Rick Rizzolo is also suspected of having hidden ownership in Eden. Rizzolo is scheduled to be released from Federal Prison on March 4.

Copyright © Steve Miller

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