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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:


Buffalo Jim Is Smiling Down From Heaven
James "Buffalo Jim" Barrier
March 22, 1953 – April 5, 2008

Rick Rizzolo Loses Ninth Circuit Court Appeal
Higher court removes legal obstacles so Kirk Henry and IRS
can now recover assets hidden by Kimtran and Lisa Rizzolo

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
April 9, 2012

LAS VEGAS - It's been four years since the untimely death of Buffalo Jim, one of the most fascinating characters I've ever known.

Jim Barrier was single handily credited for bringing down one of Las Vegas' most sinister Mob enterprises the infamous Crazy Horse Too strip club and its boss Rick Rizzolo. But for his heroic efforts, many believe Barrier paid the ultimate price.

To adequately present his story, please watch these two short videos and listen to a haunting song about the late James "Buffalo Jim" Barrier:

KVBC TV, Channel 3 News



If you want more information about the life and death of Buffalo Jim, please look at these two links:


Based on the following development, Buffalo Jim is smiling down from heaven.


On Tuesday April 3, 2012, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unceremoniously disposed of Rick Rizzolo's appeal of an additional 9 month prison sentence and 24 month extension of parole for violating his conditions of supervised release that mandated he honor his plea agreement to pay all court ordered personal obligations including $9 million plus interest in restitution to beating victim Kirk Henry, and millions of dollars in back taxes.

(In this photo by Mike Christ, Rizzolo is shown flashing a $30,000 Rolex on July 20, 2011, while leaving Federal Court after being convicted of failure to pay his court ordered restitution to Henry.)

Rizzolo, in 2006, signed a plea agreement in exchange for a shortened prison sentence. The government kept its side of the bargain.  Rizzolo did not.  He immediately conspired with his wife Lisa to stage a sham divorce and transfer their assets off shore out of the reach of creditors.  Since his "divorce," he's defied all court orders to pay his debts, a move that got him thrown back into prison. (Rizzolo is scheduled for release on June 12, 2012. His ex-wife has not yet been charged with a crime.)

Because the Ninth Circuit Court's succinct four page judgment is the result of extremely weak and unsubstantiated arguments by Rizzolo's counsel from the Las Vegas law firm Gordon & Silver (who were not paid for over a year of services), the court stated the judgment was NOT FOR PUBLICATION, and included in its footnotes the explanation; "This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent," meaning nothing in it was relevant enough to be published in law journals for use as case law.

Rizzolo's unpaid attorney Dominic Gentlie on March 19, unsuccessfully argued that his client's fortune hidden in the Cook Islands was off limits because; "Mr. Rizzolo was not even obligated to pay restitution to the Henrys in the first place, and its held in the names of corporations and trusts that are an independent person both in contemplation of law and under the terms of the plea agreements in this case." "...the Power Company, Inc. (is) a separate and distinct corporate person."

Four days after the March 19 hearing, a desperate last minute letter was submitted to the court by another member of Rizzolo's unpaid legal team reiterating ad nauseam the claim he is not responsible to pay Henry (excerpt below).
Mr. Rizzolo recognizes that in the sentencing order the district court imposed upon him a joint and several obligation, together with The Power Company, Inc., to pay restitution to the Henrys. However, under the terms of the binding plea agreement, the district court was precluded from doing so because The Power Company was solely responsible for paying restitution to the Henrys. The joint and several liability portion of the restitution obligation exclusively referred to the IRS. Thus, the intent of the parties when drafting the plea agreement was that Mr Rizzolo would not be individually responsible for providing restitution to the Henrys (emphasis added).

Very truly yours,

The false claims that Kirk Henry agreed to allow Rizzolo to not be individually responsible for paying him, and that Rizzolo's corporations are "corporate person(s)" were also summarily disposed of by the Appeals Court finally ending their use in this case.

One of Dominic Gentile's other ineffective arguments was that Rizzolo's additional sentence should be reversed because veteran United States Judge Philip Pro allowed Kirk Henry's attorney to make the following "display of vitriol" statement at his client's sentencing hearing thereby prejudicing the judge to "abuse his discretion" and send Rizzolo back to prison:

"Indeed, characterizing Mr. Rizzolo as a 'gangster' and a 'professional criminal' hell-bent on 'cheat[ing] the squares,' Henry’s attorney passionately urged the district court to order the revocation of the Appellant’s supervised release and 'send [him] . . . back to jail;' vowing to 'pursue him through this and on through the gates of hell to get the Henrys their money.' "

Another of Gentile's rejected arguments was that Rizzolo's additional sentence was rendered; "...for the express purpose of coercing him to (pay Henry) by and through the pain of physical confinement 'raises the specter of the debtor’s prison this country long ago outlawed.'”

Less than a week after the March 19 hearing, Rizzolo's entire legal team quit.  Then after only two weeks deliberation, the Appeals Court Justices soundly rejected all of Dominic Gentile's arguments. Maybe Gentile's partners at Gordon & Silver saw the writing on the wall?

Rick Rizzolo no longer has an attorney. Maybe he doesn't need one anymore since all the legal emphasis in this case is now on his ex-wife and stepmother who control his ill-gotten assets!

And, only the United States Supreme Court can reverse the judgement of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court each year hears a limited number of cases usually involving important questions about the Constitution or federal law that can take an average of eight years to appear on the Supreme Court docket.

Rick Rizzolo's case does not qualify for review by the United States Supreme Court even if he gets a new lawyer, so the Appeals Court's final judgment opens the door for Kirk Henry and the IRS to go after Rick's ex-wife Lisa Rizzolo and his stepmother Kimtran Rizzolo for conspiring to evade court ordered payment of Rick's personal debts, a clear violation of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act.



Today's column is dedicated to the memory of Buffalo Jim.

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