Rizzolo's Watch Tells More Than Time
Racketeer who owes the IRS
millions of dollars appears in
U. S. Court wearing a $26,000
watch and accompanied
by his priest. Government
asks judge for three extra
years of parole and three
months behind bars for
violating the conditions
of supervised release
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
February 28, 2011
LAS VEGAS - He owes
the IRS millions in back taxes, penalties, and interest, and has an
unpaid debt to a beating
victim of over $9 million dollars.
Rizzolo and his ex-wife
Lisa (not yet charged with a crime) secretly stashed tens of millions
cash in the Cook Islands right in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit
three weeks before beginning plea negotiations where he agreed to pay all
his debts in exchange for an abbreviated prison sentence.
But last Tuesday, the convicted racketeer
and former Crazy Horse Too strip club owner seemed not to have a care in
the world. Or he may have been heavily sedated.
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Case Rose Gold
Bezel Material Rose Gold
Dial Color Black with Rose Gold
Bracelet/Strap Rose Gold
At the entrance to the Lloyd George Federal
Courthouse in downtown Las Vegas, Rizzolo nonchalantly flashed one of his
expensive time pieces while lighting up a smoke.
Right behind Rizzoloduring his amazing
display of wealth (AmericanMafia.com photo by Mike
Christ) was Rizzolo's personal priest and spiritual advisor Father
Dave Casaleggio. Upon exiting the courthouse with
his pal, the man of God immediately spotted the well known AmericanMafia.com
photographer and looked directly into Christ's lens (no pun intended).
The basis for Rizzolo and Casaleggio's
appearance in U.S. Judge Philip Pro's court on Tuesday was well covered
in the local press.
|Judge to decide if former strip club owner should return
By Jeff German
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Feb. 23, 2011
Federal probation officials say former Crazy Horse Too
owner Rick Rizzolo unlawfully hid $1 million from the sale of a Philadelphia
strip club from them for more than two years. And now they want a judge
to send him back to prison for violating the terms of his April 4, 2008,
FULL STORY: http://www.lvrj.com/news/judge-to-decide-if-former-strip-club-owner-should-return-to-jail-116678004.html
|Feds drop effort to sell closed Crazy Horse Too strip
By Jeff German
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Feb. 24, 2011
Pro's ruling from the bench Thursday gives lawyers for
Henry and his wife, Amy, the green light to go after Rizzolo personally
for money he owes the couple. The Henrys are suing Rizzolo for fraud in
federal court, alleging he created a sham divorce with his wife, Lisa,
to avoid paying them.
FULL STORY: http://www.lvrj.com/news/feds-drop-effort-to-sell-closed-crazy-horse-too-strip-club-116858358.html
According to court records, a distressed
mortgage buyer picked up the Crazy Horse Too building and property from
the now defunct
Security Pacific Bank for only $750,000 in a FDIC forced sale. In 2005,
Security Pacific loaned Rizzolo $5 million which he had no intention of
paying back. He and his ex-wife Lisa stashed the $5 million in the Cook
Islands. Rizzolo's action contributed to the bank's failure.
In addition to the $5 million, Mrs. Rizzolo
also stashed two
Oppenheimer accounts valued at the time at $7.2 million.
Now, the buyer of the mortgage is going
to auction off the derelict warehouse and property, but several factors
diminish its value.
foot deep swath is scheduled to be taken from the front of the property
by eminent domain for a road widening project, and the 1960's era cinder
block structure is falling apart with a section about to crumble into a
sink hole caused by years of water leaking from a broken pipe under the
building (the average water bill was $6,000 per month). Experts do not
expect the property to sell for much more than $1 million, and zoning laws
prevent it from ever reopening as a strip club.
Even if the place was picked up for a song
by one of Rizzolo's cronies, the one man in City Hall who could effectuate
a rushed new liquor license, outgoing Mayor Oscar Goodman -- Rizzolo's
former criminal defense attorney, leaves office in June allowing no time
for a new liquor license application to be processed or a zoning change
former flunky Mike McDonald was ousted
from the LV City Council in 2003. No one running to replace Goodman has
any known connections to Rizzolo, so the likelihood of a re-born Crazy
Horse Too is next to impossible at this late hour.
At last Tuesday's hearing in U.S. Federal
Court, one of Rizzolo's worst dreams may have come true; Judge Pro approved
the United States Attorney's request to subpoena Pennsylvania businessman
The last thing the owner of eleven auto
dealerships needs is to have his good name tied together with one of Las
Vegas' most notorious bad boys.
I even wrote a column about it:
|Dad of Major League hitter
may hold a key to Rick Rizzolo's future jail cell
"He who sleeps with dogs,
wakes up with fleas"
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
October 18, 2010
LAS VEGAS - While racketeer Rick Rizzolo
was serving his prison sentence, he secretly participated in the $3 million
dollar sale of his portion of the Philadelphia Crazy Horse Too. Rizzolo
did not report the transaction to the IRS or his creditors including unpaid
beating victim Kirk Henry.
to documents discovered in September 2010, Rizzolo was set to receive $3
million from his business partner Vince
Piazza, the father of famous baseball player Mike Piazza, for Rizzolo's
share of the strip club (photo on left).
In a MOTION
filed on October 8, 2010, attorneys for Kirk Henry asked the United States
Federal Court to extend the time for Discovery in Henry's personal injury
case so his legal team can depose Vince Piazza to ascertain whether Rick
or Lisa Rizzolo received at least $2 million of the $3 million dollars
under the table.
However, being subpoenaed to talk about
his association with a convicted racketeer is the last thing a highly respected
Pennsylvania businessman and humanitarian like Vince Piazza needs.
Vince Piazza is a pillar of the community,
an exemplary father, and highly successful businessman who's Piazza
Auto Group operates 11 car dealerships in Pennsylvania.
FULL COLUMN: http://www.americanmafia.com/inside_vegas/10-18-10_Inside_Vegas.html
One week after my column was published,
Rizzolo's attorneys filed an Objection to Piazza being deposed. I wrote
an article about that too:
I can fully understand why Mr. Piazza might
not want to be deposed or in any way associated with a convicted felon
like Rick Rizzolo. According to the Los
Angeles Times, Piazza in 1992 reportedly failed a security check
of his background and was forced to withdraw from a group trying to buy
the then-San Francisco Giants.
He also made several
more attempts to join groups trying to buy Major League teams including
a stab at buying the Florida Marlins from Wayne Huizenga (owner of Republic
Silver State Disposal in Las Vegas).
Unfortunately -- for unknown reasons --
all five of Piazza's attempts at MLB ownership failed.
And to make the prospects of owning a Major
League team even more distant, in 2005, Piazza got involved with Rick Rizzolo.
Now, Rizzolo's refusal to pay his court
ordered debts brings Piazza back into the spotlight, a spotlight I bet
he'd like to avoid like the plague!
Back to Father Dave. Upon his retirement
as Pastor at Our Lady of Las Vegas Church, Father Dave Casaleggio became
parish administrator of Saint Anne Catholic School in Las Vegas.
According to sources at Our Lady, Father
Dave made a rather hasty departure based on several newspaper stories:
|Sep. 02, 2007
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
GRAND JURY PROBE: Friend in time of need
By ADRIENNE PACKER
A priest, a topless club owner and a politician.
Casaleggio, who counts Crazy Horse Too owner Rick Rizzolo
and former Las Vegas City Councilman Michael McDonald among his close friends,
was questioned by federal prosecutors about $30,000 he loaned to McDonald
more than four years ago.
FULL STORY: http://www.lvrj.com/news/9531307.html
|FATHER DAVE'S FRIENDS
By LYNNETTE CURTIS
Sep. 26, 2008
Casaleggio, known to many as "Father Dave," doesn't seem
to care much what others might think of his hanging out with the likes
of former Crazy Horse Too owner Rick Rizzolo or former Las Vegas City Councilman
Michael McDonald, each of whom has borne his share of negative press over
FULL STORY: http://www.lvrj.com/news/18854704.html
|Thursday, August 05, 1999
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
Ordinances target adult businesses
By Steve Friess
Still, Casaleggio insisted he isn't pushing the issue
to prevent The Sporting House from becoming competition for Rizzolo's business.
The priest said his friendship with the strip-club owner came about because
Rizzolo's children have attended the church's school.
FULL STORY: http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/1999/Aug-05-Thu-1999/news/11698537.html
Based on his unusual group of parishioners
and his penchant for protecting their fortunes, I also wrote about him
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
August 28, 2006
Enter Father Dave Casaleggio, Rizzolo's
In the movie "Godfather II," as the music
reaches a climax, the chain smoking priest turns and asks Michael Corleone:
Francis Rizzi (the baby) do you renounce Satan?"
Michael Corleone (Godfather):
"I do renounce him."
"And all his works?"
Michael: "I do renounce them."
"And all his pomps?"
Michael: "I do renounce."
"Michael Francis Rizzi, will you be baptized?"
Michael: "I will."
"In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit go in peace, and may the
Lord be with you."
Interspersed through these scenes are the
brutal slayings of all Michael Corleone's enemies. The scenes remind me
of Rizzolo's bloodied victims.
This week, Father Dave Casaleggio lobbied
members of the City Council asking they vote to allow the Crazy Horse Too
to remain open.
The Reverend is a mutual friend of Rizzolo
and the Mayor who before being elected made a fortune defending brutal
criminals such as Tony "The Ant" Spilotro. On January 24, 2006, Mayor Goodman
appointed the Rev. Casaleggio to the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas
However, in 1999, it was none other than
the Rev. Casaleggio who appeared before the Clark County Commission asking
that they not
allow a Crazy Horse competitor to convert the former Sporting House
fitness club into what is now Sapphire Gentleman's club!
He drove to the commission meeting in his
new Lexus, a gift from Rick Rizzolo. There, the Priest proclaimed to be
representing the interests of his congregation (which included the Rizzolo
family, his attorneys, and a number of Crazy Horse goons). He said his
"congregation" objected to another strip club in the area, though Sapphire
was one mile farther from his church than the Crazy Horse that expanded
the previous year without Father Dave's protestation.
Members of my family regularly worship
at Our Lady of Las Vegas, and say that no one asked the Priest to intervene
in the strip club matter.
Following Casaleggio's mysterious appearance
before the County Commission, Our Lady of Las Vegas canceled his contract.
Rizzolo's attorneys Dean Patti and Tony Sgro filed a lawsuit on Casaleggio's
behalf against the Diocese of Las Vegas, and Casaleggio was temporarily
reinstated until his contract expired the next year.
Rev. Casaleggio, once the proud pastor
of the city's most prestigious church, is currently a pastor with the Nevada
prison system. Maybe there, he can better represent his true congregation
-- convicted criminals.
When Rev. Casaleggio departed Our Lady
of Las Vegas, Rizzolo, his friends, and family became parishioners at another
Rev. Casaleggio is expected to testify
before the Las Vegas City Council on Sept. 6 in favor of allowing the Crazy
Horse to remain open, and as a character witness for Rick Rizzolo at his
Sept. 15 sentencing. In past years, the Reverend reportedly traveled with
Rizzolo to Chicago to be a character witness for Rizzolo's son Dominic
who had gotten into trouble with the law, so the Priest should be quite
effective at Rick Rizzolo's sentencing.
It's amazing how some criminals can find
salvation each Sunday, then bash heads during the rest of the week!
FULL COLUMN: http://americanmafia.com/Inside_Vegas/8-28-06_Inside_Vegas.html
Evidently, Father Dave's spiritual guidance
is not very effective.
In Rizzolo's case, a series of beatings
including the death of Scott
David Fau, and the crippling of Kirk Henry occurred during the Reverend
and Rick's long friendship.
Father Dave's spiritual inspiration was
also cherished by the Rizzolo family in 2008 when Rick's son Dominic
was convicted of Battery With The Use Of A Deadly Weapon. Even though Father
to bat for him years earlier in Chicago, Dominic hadn't learned his
lesson. Several years later he tried to kill a man during a botched extortion
attempt. With the help of his dad's connections
in Clark County District Court, he got off once again.
So try as he may, Father Dave Casaleggio's
spiritual guidance does not seem to be working too good when it comes to
his parishioners who just happen to also be part of Las Vegas' seamy underworld.
But despite Father Dave's best efforts,
the tide seems to be turning on the Rizzolos.
On March 29, Judge Pro is scheduled to
hear arguments from the United States attorney and Rick Rizzolo's parole
officer Eric Christiansen. Both are asking that Rizzolo be sent back
to prison for three months and his parole extended for three years. Even
with Father Dave's blessings, I don't believe Judge Pro will be keen to
ignore the Government's requests, especially with the LV Review-Journal,
largest newspaper, now covering every detail of this drawn out ordeal.
I've been covering this case for over twelve
case that should have been resolved years ago.
Back in 2005, while Rizzolo was involved
in plea bargaining and his wife and another U.S.
Judge's brother were busy stashing the couple's ill-gotten fortune
in the Cook
Islands, the late Buffalo Jim Barrier and I visited Al Capone's ice
cold cell in Alcatraz and had this photo taken. Buffalo sent it to Rizzolo
with the caption "Your Next Abode."
Jim Barrier died in April 2008 under mysterious circumstances the day
after Rizzolo was released from prison.
A good sign that this case may finally
be coming to an end came last Tuesday when all motions made by Rizzolo's
attorney Dominic Gentile were denied including ones to squelch a Judgment
Debtor Exam, force the Government to perform provisions of Rizzolo's plea
agreement, and strike the modification of his parole.
Also at Tuesday's hearing, Kirk Henry's
attorney Stan Hunterton told the court that Rizzolo with the approval of
his parole officer and without reporting to the court or to Henry's attorneys
began sending donations of $1,000 per month to Henry as "restitution,"
and that it would take Rizzolo over 750 years to pay off his obligation
at that rate. Using this as an example, Hunterton said that Rizzolo's secret
$1,000 payments were "emblematic of putting his finger in the eye of the
law," and clearly displays contempt for the court - and that Rizzolo if
allowed to continue, "wins because his goal in life is to never pay Henry
or the IRS." Hunterton ended by saying, "The only thing this man understands
is being locked up. He holds this court and Mr. Henry in utter contempt.
U.S Attorney Johnson then told the court
that the Government agrees with everything Hunterton said.
Rizzolo's attorney Dominic Gentile told
Judge Pro, "You have the power (to revoke Rizzolo's parole), but not the
authority." "Today is not the day to be pointing twenty fingers."
Gentile contends that the Government botched
all sales of the Crazy Horse Too since 2008 including one for $35 million
- enough to cover all the Rizzolo's debts. However, the Government determined
that all purported buyers were either associated
with Rizzolo, or "failed
I believe we are nearing the end of the
road, at least as far as Rick's freedom is concerned. On March 29, I think
Judge Pro will comply with the Government's requests and put Rizzolo back
in jail for three months and extend his parole for another three years.
That still won't bring justice to this
case. Until Kirk Henry receives the $9 million dollars included in Rizzolo's
plea bargain, the court is spinning its wheels while the public grows increasingly
distrustful of the Nevada Federal Court system.
If Rizzolo is sent to jail for only 90
days, he'll probably come out more inclined to thumb his nose at the IRS
and Henry. "The only thing this man understands is being locked up."
With so much clear evidence of collusion,
tax evasion, and fraudulent
transfers of assets, it shouldn't be difficult for Judge Pro to do
what a U.S. Judge in Minnesota did in the Trever
G. Cook case, take away his passport and order Rick Rizzolo to repatriate
his off shore stashed fortune, or stay in prison until he does.
Or the U.S. Attorney can bring charges
against Rizzolo's ex-wife Lisa for conspiring
to hide money from the IRS.
Whatever happens on March 29, it's certain
that Rizzolo's Rolex will keep ticking away the hours until he and his
ex-wife are forced to pay their debts to society. And it's certain that
Father Dave Casaleggio will continue to "renounce Satan," whomever he believes
that to be.