| Home | Books and Gifts | Photo Album | Mob Busters | Mafia Site Search |
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:

Is Lisa Rizzolo trying to coerce Kirk Henry
into not attending his September trial?

"...they would only allow telephonic depositions of the
Henrys if Plaintiffs stipulated that the Henrys would
not be present for trial." Philip Erwin, attorney for Kirk Henry

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
March 8, 2010

LAS VEGAS - It would be an extreme hardship for a paralyzed man to travel across the country to attend a March 11, 2010 deposition in his personal injury law suit. But attorneys for Defendant Lisa Rizzolo say beating victim Kirk Henry traveling to Las Vegas for the deposition won't be necessary if he agrees not to show up at her and her ex-husband's trial this fall.

            Defendant Rick Rizzolo                             Plaintiff Kirk Henry
Rick and Lisa Rizzolo and their attorneys are obviously getting the heebie-jeebies over the fear of a jury seeing a paralyzed man in an electric wheelchair sitting at the Plaintiff's table every day during their September trial.

Hence their offer to not force Henry to fly from his home in Kansas to Las Vegas for a March deposition in exchange for him not showing up in the court room.

Former computer software executive Kirk Henry (Las Vegas Review-Journal photo by Gary Thompson) suffered a broken neck in October 2001 at the hands of a manager of the Rizzolo's now-defunct Crazy Horse Too strip club after the hapless tourist disputed a padded $88 bar tab.

Rick and Lisa were married at the time of Henry's injuries, and Nevada is a Community Property state where married couples share liabilities incurred during the term of their marriage.

Based on Henry's beating and numerous similar incidents, the FBI conducted an investigation. Indictments were issued. To avoid lengthy trials, Rick Rizzolo, his corporation The Power Company Inc., and 15 Crazy Horse Too employees pleaded guilty to felonies including tax evasion and racketeering.

In his Plea Agreement, Rick agreed to sell his topless bar and pay Henry $10 million dollars restitution along with paying the IRS around $5 million in back taxes, penalties, and interest. He agreed to pay from the bar's sale proceeds, or severally from his own funds if the bar didn't sell for enough to cover his debts . He made the agreement in exchange for a feather light prison sentence. He also agreed to not declare bankruptcy.

The government kept its side of the bargain and put Rizzolo on supervised release (parole) after he served only one year and a day in federal prison. But when Rizzolo and  the government failed to find a qualified buyer for the Crazy Horse Too, the government seized the property, and Rizzolo reneged on his plea deal and refused to pay his debts (see his parole officer's response later in this column).

Rick began his plea negotiations in 2005 three weeks after he divorced Lisa, his wife of 26 years. Soon after their amicable divorce, she mortgaged their three houses and stashed their liquid assets in a Cook Islands bank out of Henry's and the government's reach. She did this with the help of a politically connected local attorney whose brother is a Federal Judge.

When he realized he wouldn't get paid, Kirk Henry sued Rick and Lisa Rizzolo for allegedly violating the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA).

In the meantime, the IRS has taken no action to collect  -- possibly waiting for the outcome of the UFTA trial in September.

The UFTA is typically brought by creditors against a debtor who as part of an asset protection scheme, donates his assets to an "insider," and leaves himself nothing to pay his creditors. Three weeks before beginning plea negotiations, Rick Rizzolo donated all his assets with the exception of the Crazy Horse bar to his ex-wife in a hasty divorce; a typical UFTA scenario.

In the years and months leading up to the September 2010 trial, Henry's attorneys diligently tried to find out how much cash Rizzolo stashed off shore (more on this later).

But the thought of a quadriplegic sitting in an electric wheelchair at the Plaintiff's table in view of a jury has evidently preoccupied Rizzolo's team of attorneys.

'I was rendered a quadriplegic as the result of the incident that led to my lawsuit against Defendant Rick Rizzolo and the Crazy Horse Too. My wife Amy Henry is required to act as my full time caretaker if I am required to travel. She is responsible for the transportation of my equipment which includes a 300 pound electric wheelchair and 25 pound charger. Additionally my wife must transport the nursing supplies, catheter equipment, and many other things required for my day to day care,"  stated Henry in his MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER.

Kirk Henry categorically refused Lisa's offer to "only allow telephonic depositions of the Henrys if Plaintiffs stipulated that the Henrys would not be present for trial," and was forced to file his Motion for a Protective Order to stop her and her attorney's coercive tactics. Now it's up to U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley to decide where and how Henry's deposition will take place.

On Friday March 5,, the proposed torturous inquisition of Kirk Henry was temporarily STAYED.

Motion for Protective Order


This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Protective Order, or, in the Alternative, an Order Requiring Telephonic Depositions of Plaintiffs Kirk and Amy Henry (Dkt.#305), filed March 5, 2010.

Defendants have noticed the depositions of Plaintiffs Kirk and Amy Henry for March 11, 2010. Plaintiffs request that a protective order be issued to allow the deposition of Plaintiffs to take place telephonically. Due to the impending date for Plaintiffs’ depositions, the Court will stay the depositions to allow the motion for protective order to be fully briefed. 

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the depositions of Plaintiffs noticed for March 11, 2009 are stayed pending the Court’s decision on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Protective Order, or, in the Alternative, an Order Requiring Telephonic Depositions of Plaintiffs Kirk and Amy Henry (Dkt. #305).

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Court will hold a hearing on this matter on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 3A before Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that due to the expedited nature of this matter, an opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Protective Order must be filed on or before March 15, 2010. 

DATED this 5th day of March, 2010.
United States Magistrate Judge

Every stalling tactic in the book has been used by the Rizzolo's legal team to keep this case from going to trial. Their goal may be to stall the trial until after Mr. Henry, 51, dies of his injuries, or gives up and settles for dimes on the dollar so he can put his kids through college. But Henry and his legal team have a different idea, and are pushing the court to bring finality to this case as soon as possible.

In Lisa Rizzolo's subpoena, her attorney states that Henry's physical presence at the deposition in Las Vegas is necessary so they could "evaluate his demeanor and credibility as a witness."

Kirk and Amy Henry in their MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER counter that they will suffer great expense, discomfort, and extreme hardship if (Judge Foley requires) they travel to Las Vegas so Lisa's attorneys can visually evaluate Kirk as a witness  That they "will not be providing controversial testimony in this matter that will prove or disprove Defendant's fraudulent conduct," and; "As such, an order requiring a telephonic deposition... is highly appropriate under the circumstances."

Based on the merciless offer tendered by Lisa's attorneys, it appears they feel they have a powerful bargaining chip in their hands.

On March 18, if Judge Foley forces Henry to suffer the hardship of traveling to Vegas this spring for a face-to-face deposition, and if the Judge's possible Order results in such an extreme hardship that Henry agrees to Lisa's terms to take his deposition telephonically in trade for not showing up at the September trial, Lisa's attorneys will have won a mortal victory.

After reporting on Kirk Henry's tragedy for over nine years, I believe the only way the Rizzolos can keep their money is if Henry is not present in the court room during the jury trial.

Henry is the number one witness in the case and, in my opinion, any attempt to discourage his participation at trial should be considered witness tampering. If Judge Foley forces the Henrys to come in person for deposition, it will not be the first time this Judge has appeared to favor the Rizzolos in this case.

On July 13, 2009, Judge Foley denied Henry's Motions to Compel Rizzolo's camp to turn over financial records.
Case 2:08-cv-00635-PMP-GWF Document 73 Filed 02/03/2009 Page 10 of 13 

There is substantial doubt whether the Plaintiffs have any right of recovery against Rick Rizzolo (emphasis added) other than through the sale of the Crazy Horse Too business pursuant to the terms of the 2006 settlement agreement. The Nevada District Court has twice denied Plaintiffs’ motion to reduce Mr. Rizzolo’s settlement obligations to judgment. The Court therefore concludes that Plaintiffs should not be permitted to pursue discovery regarding the alleged fraudulent transfer of Defendant Rick Rizzolo’s assets until they demonstrate the existence of a viable claim against Mr. Rizzolo for breach of the 2006 settlement agreement. Absent such a viable claim, the UFTA (Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act) discovery sought in this action is, by its nature, irrelevant and unduly burdensome.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel Answers and Responses to Plaintiff Kirk Henry’s First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for Production to Defendant Fredrick Rizzolo and For Appropriate Sanctions (#42) is denied without prejudice. The Court will permit Plaintiffs to proceed with discovery regarding the alleged fraudulent transfer of Defendant Fredrick Rizzolo’s assets if Plaintiffs show that they have a viable claim against Defendant based on his alleged breach of the parties’ settlement agreement and that Plaintiffs are, in fact, pursuing a judgment on that claim. 

DATED this 3rd day of February, 2009. 
United States Magistrate Judge

Magistrate Judge Foley's sudden February 3, 2009 ORDER stopped Henry in his tracks!

But the Presiding Judge in this case is not Judge Foley.  It's  U.S. Judge Philip Pro who on March 23, 2009, OVERRULED Judge Foley's ORDER and let Henry proceed with discovery.

But even with Judge Pro's approval, Rizzolo refused to cooperate.

Having already shredded tons of financial documents, and after his attorneys Dean Patti and Tony Sgro claimed that the Rizzolo's financial records stored in their second floor law office were "destroyed in a flood," (the words "MISSING INFORMATION" ironically appear on their firm's website), Rizzolo had few records left to produce!

(Judge Foley failed to require Patti & Sgro to prove that a flood actually occurred in their office).

Empty handed, Rizzolo changed the subject by arguing that his 2005 divorce ruling by Family Court Judge Steve Jones, and a civil court ruling in his favor by District Court Judge Jackie Glass should take precedence over the U.S. Federal Court case now in progress. In other words, he believes Judge Pro is acting outside his jurisdiction by allowing discovery in this case.

Rizzolo then, to try to prove he was broke and not able to pay his court ordered debts, claimed he could no longer afford a real attorney and would represent himself Pro Se. However, he secretly hired a jail house lawyer named James "Spud" Kimsey to author the following document and many others that Rick Rizzolo signed.
Case 2:08-cv-00635-PMP-GWF Document 139 Filed 07/09/2009 Page 1 of 23 

Defendants, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56, respectfully request this Court to enter an Order for summary judgment in favor of the Defendants and against the Plaintiffs, as there exists no genuine issue of material fact and the Defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of the applicable law on theory of claim preclusion, judicial estoppel and waiver. 

In the second alternative, Defendants, pursuant to Nevada Rule of Appellate Procedure 5, respectfully request this Court to enter an Order to certify questions of law to the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada. 

Defendants further request pursuant to FeII.R.Civ.P. Rule 26(c) that this Court enter an Order to stay the discovery orders and discovery pending decision on the dispositive motions and alternative motion to certify questions of law to the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada. 

The Decree of Divorce is undisturbed as a final state court order. Because the Plaintiffs are seeking relief affecting the distribution of community property, only the original state court and department that issued the Decree of Divorce has subject matter jurisdiction to grant relief related to setting aside or modification of its provisions

DATED this 7th day of July, 2009. 
RICK RIZZOLO , a individual; and THE 
Pro Se
1760 Amarone Way 
Las Vegas, Nevada 89012 

The only problem was that Rizzolo did not reveal that he was not the actual author of this and fifteen other documents he affixed his name to.

Henry's attorneys persisted with three Motions to Compel Rizzolo to produce his financial records, and Rizzolo three times refused to completely answer questions or provide the requested (destroyed) documents.

Rick Rizzolo's most recent answer to their third Motion to Compel shows his arrogance. He sloppily hand wrote the following document pleading poverty, a document that the court should use to charge him with Contempt.  Instead, the court is currently prosecuting James Kimsey (more on this later).
                                                     Click on pages to enlarge

The massive secret shredding of financial documents was photographed taking place at Rizzolo's office behind the Crazy Horse Too on April 3, 2007 right in the middle of this litigation! (This information has not yet been submitted to the court.)

Now, Rick Rizzolo argues that he cannot produce additional records the court needs to determine whether Kirk Henry and the IRS can be paid. And Rizzolo's ex-wife claims that the money she hid in the Cook Islands is legally hers and cannot be seized based on the questionable decision of a troubled Clark County Family Court Judge!

In Rick Rizzolo's second Interrogatory answers, he repeated THIRTY NINE times that Plaintiff Kirk Henry must establish that "an order of the Eighth Judicial District Court is a fraud," in order for it to be permissible to conduct discovery of his and his ex-wife's personal assets.

In other words, the Rizzolos are depending completely on a jury accepting their claim that their Decree of Divorce was legitimate, and the only jurisdiction over their hidden loot resides in the District Court, not the Federal Court.

The Rizzolos are hanging both their hats entirely on the decision of District Court Judge Steve Jones (left). If the court advises the jury that the security of the Rizzolo's off-shore fortune hangs on Judge Jones' credibility, it'll be interesting to see if a jury agrees and lets them keep their off-shore stash of money -- the quantity still unknown -- based solely on Judge Jones' signature on their Divorce Decree.

The March 16, 2009 INSIDE VEGAS column gives a number of reasons for a jury to question if Judge Jones rendered a legitimate Decree of Divorce that paved the way for Rick and Lisa to legally transfer their fortune off shore out of the grasp of Mr. Henry and the IRS.  Or was the troubled divorce court judge complicit in a scheme to elude paying the IRS and Mr. Henry?

Keep in mind that Rick Rizzolo was one of the most generous contributors to judicial and political campaigns during the years he ran the infamous Crazy Horse Too. He personally contributed hundreds of thousands in cash and checks to judges and politicians, and the Rizzolos held lavish fund raisers in their home to raise much more. Based on the lax Nevada campaign reporting laws, it was probable that much of the cash the Rizzolos raised for judges and politicians went unreported.

I ran for office in Nevada several times during the late 1980s and early 1990s. I legally accepted bundled donations from people who didn't want my opponent to know they were supporting me. Out of state suppliers of local businesses were also asked by those who didn't want their names mentioned to make contributions to my campaign. Of course I knew who inspired the out of state checks. The  total I collected -- and reported in one election -- was $342,000 of which $40,000 was cash. I could have pocketed the cash and no one would have known, but to the dismay of some of my contributors, I reported every cash contribution and its origin. (I immediately returned an unsolicited $1,000.00 check from Rick Rizzolo.)

Today, the same lax Nevada laws make it possible for members of organized crime to "legally" pay off judges and politicians. There is no penalty on the contributor if a judge or politician accepts their cash and forgets to report it on their campaign contribution reports. Often the unreported cash is used to pay personal living expenses or for luxuries, then the receiver "loans" his campaign money from his personal account without anyone knowing it was laundered, or from whom it came.

In HENRY vs. RIZZOLO,  before a jury has the chance to decide if the Rizzolo's divorce was a "sham," another aspect of this case must be decided in court.

According to information filed last week, a CONTEMPT OF COURT jury trial that was tentatively scheduled for March 9 in the court of Judge Philip Pro, will probably be continued for 60 days. And it does not involve Rick Rizzolo!

This "pop up" trial was scheduled at the behest of U.S. Magistrate Judge Foley regarding allegations he personally initiated against Rizzolo's ghost writer, James "Spud" Kimsey.

Kimsey, at Rizzolo's behest, authored over a dozen Motions and assorted court documents on which Rizzolo signed his name. These documents stalled Henry's case against the Rizzolos for over six months.

Now, based on an Order signed by Magistrate Judge Foley,  Mr. Henry's case is being put on a back burner so Judge Foley can go after a non-lawyer who secretly authored documents for Rizzolo at a time he claimed to not be able to afford a real attorney.

Instead of co-prosecuting Rizzolo, the person who employed Kimsey to file frivolous documents to stall Henry's case, Judge Foley is pursuing Kimsey severally for Contempt of Court, possibly to prove to the public that he (Judge Foley) "Means Business!"

This diversion from the long overdue Henry case is a waste of time and taxpayer's money. And in my opinion, if the primary defendant Rick Rizzolo is not included with Kimsey as a co-Defendant, someone is doing Rizzolo a favor.

(On February 22, 2010, Judge Foley did order that Rick Rizzolo pay Henry's attorneys $5,000 in legal fees for having to respond to Kimsey and Rizzolo's frivolous Motions. Henry's attorneys had asked for $16,000. It's not known whether Rizzolo paid as ordered.)

Below are excerpts from Kimsey's taxpayer-paid-for U.S. Public Defender's well-placed MOTION TO CONTINUE the trial date for 60 days so she can come up to speed as to why he, and he alone, is being prosecuted for allegedly showing contempt to the federal court.

Note that she includes the statement: "The bench trial in this case arises out of a certification of facts for criminal contempt from the magistrate court. This is a highly unusual and rarely employed method of initiating a criminal trial."

In other words, the U.S. Public Defender is also questioning Magistrate Court Judge Foley's reasons for singling our her client, and ordering a hurried criminal trial from his bench when so many worthy issues in this case could have been brought before a jury over the years?


On January 29,2010, the Court held a hearing on the order to show cause regarding the criminal contempt for interested party James Kimsey. The Court set a bench trial date of March 9, 2010 and a motion submission deadline of February 12, 2010. Calendar call for the trial is set for March 3, 2010.


The defenses seeks a continuation of this case because additional time is necessary to be able (to) provide an adequate and effective defense in this case. The government opposes any continuation of the motion or trial dates.

This is not to suggest that the government is withholding or refusing to provide relevant discovery. .Rather the point is to demonstrate that the defense started with almost no information as it began its investigation into the matters underlying the criminal allegations in this case. 

Given the hundreds of pleadings in this case and the numerous witnesses in this case, it cannot be suggested that there is little investigation or evidence to explore or review. While much of this information may not ultimately be related to the criminal charges in this case, the defense cannot simply assume no relation without first reviewing the material.

Second, the lack of a readily identifiable and small universe of evidence is compounded by the complicated nature of the proceeding in this case. The bench trial in this case arises out of a certification of facts for criminal contempt from the magistrate court (emphasis added). This is a highly unusual and rarely employed method of initiating a criminal trial (emphasis added). The defense is still clarifying all of the legal contours and parameters associated with such a proceedings as to effectively represent Mr. Kimsey at the bench trial.


For the reasons stated,  the defense seeks a continuance of sixty (60) days of the motion and trial dates
for the criminal contempt case involving James Kimsey.

Respectfully submitted this 2nd day of March, 2010.
Federal Public Defender

Despite Judge Foley's questionable actions, there is a tiny chance that justice will come sooner-than-later in the Rick Rizzolo case.

On February 23, 2010, a SUMMONS was issued requiring Rick Rizzolo to appear in Judge Pro's court on March 22, to answer a myriad of questions posed by his parole officer Eric Christiansen about why Rizzolo has not begun to pay his court ordered debts as was a condition of his parole.

It will be interesting to see how Judge Pro handles Christiansen's petition that stated: "On December 17, 2009, the offender was asked to sign a Payment Schedule for U.S. District Court Clerk in which he was requested to make monthly payments towards his restitution and fine. Mr. Rizzolo declined, stating that he would not sign the document at the advice of his attorney."

Will Judge Pro "modify" Rizzolo's conditions of supervised release by allowing him to ignore his plea agreement and not pay restitution until after the results of the UFTA trial?

Or will Judge Pro revoke the parole of a racketeer who has used his "supervised release" time to make a complete mockery of the U.S. District Court District of Nevada?

* If you would like to receive Steve's frequent E-Briefs about Las Vegas' scandals, click here: Steve Miller's Las Vegas E-Briefs

Copyright © Steve Miller

email Steve Miller at:
div. of PLR International

Copyright © 1998 - 2010 PLR International