in HENRY vs. RIZZOLO
Rizzolo women ordered to
pay Rick's debts
Justice served one asset
at a time
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
June 25, 2012
LAS VEGAS - It was a racketeer's dream
come true. Owning a rare 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL 65 Bi-Turbo, the most powerful
series-produced roadster in the world (watch
a spectacular burnout). With its 604 horsepower and 738 lbs.ft./torque
twelve-cylinder twin-turbocharged hand-built motor, Rick
Rizzolo could go zero to sixty in just under 4 seconds. The perfect
2003 Mercedes SL 65 Bi-Turbo.
flashes $30,000 Rolex (Photos by Mike Christ)
But on the evening of August 4, 2011, while
Rick was dining with friends at Piero's across from the Las Vegas Convention
Center, a tow truck accompanied by Las Vegas Constables entered the restaurant's
parking lot to hook up the black beauty and tow it away. Several weeks
later, the car was sold at auction for only $30,000 to an undisclosed buyer
and the money was transferred to a trust account for beating
victim Kirk Henry; a pittance compared to the $10 million plus interest
Rizzolo in 2005 plea bargained to pay Henry in exchange for a shortened
On September 14, 2011, Rick Rizzolo returned
to federal prison to serve an additional nine months for violating the
terms of his parole by not reporting the
sale of his interest in the Philadelphia Crazy Horse Too strip club
for $3 million dollars including $1,052,996.03 which was secretly transferred
to his late father Bart and now being hidden by Bart's widow Kimtran
Rizzolo. Rick was required to report all his transactions in excess
Kimtran is a north Vietnamese immigrant
who moved to the United States in 1981, was married for over a decade to
a man who did not speak Vietnamese, claims to not know why she received
the $1,052,996.03 or from whom, and claims she
cannot read, understand, or speak the English language.
On April 19, 2012, United States Senior
Judge Philip M. Pro issued an ORDER
stating: "Defendants Rick Rizzolo and Kimtran Rizzolo shall make the
necessary arrangements to transfer funds in the amount of $1,052,996.03
to Plaintiffs Kirk Henry and Amy Henry within thirty (30) days."
Kimtran defied Judge Pro's order and refused
to transfer the funds claiming to not understand what she was ordered to
do. Then she filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court accusing Judge
Pro of abusing his discretion by not deducting purported loans Bart made
to Rick and attorney fees Bart paid on Rick's behalf.
Judge Pro swiftly responded on May 22,
when he issued a WRIT
OF EXECUTION ordering the U.S. Marshals Service to immediately seize
the assets of Kimtran.
On Friday, June 15, United States Marshals
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa served Transamerica Life Insurance Company, the holder
of Kimtran's annuity, with a WRIT
OF GARNISHMENT AND SEIZURE. Transamerica is ordered to retain possession
of the funds and answer interrogatories within 20 days telling how much
money Kimtran has in her annuity and when it was deposited.
In the meantime, Judge Pro issued another
denying Kimtran's request for a (new) trial to determine if the "loans"
her late husband allegedly made to Rick and attorney fees he paid on Rick's
behalf should be deducted from the $1,052,996.03 she owes the Henrys. To
show his resolve, Judge Pro used the same order to post a hearing for September
10, to determine whether Kimtran should be held in Civil Contempt for defying
his order to pay Henry.
docket text for document 607:
that Kimtran Rizzolos Motion for a New Trial or in the Alternative, to
Alter or Amend Judgment  is hereby DENIED. A hearing on Plaintiffs
Motion for Order to Hold Defendant Kimtran Rizzolo in Civil Contempt 
is set for Monday, September 10, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. in Courtroom 7C, in
the United States District Court, District of Nevada, located at 333 S.
Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada, 89101. Signed by Judge Philip M. Pro
In reference to the purported loans Bart
made to Rick, Judge Pro states: "Kimtran provides no evidence to establish
any such loans were even made, when any such loans were made, in what amount,
and the remaining balance at the time of the fraudulent transfers."
Regarding the possible penalty Kimtran
may be facing, Wikopedia explains: "The civil sanction for contempt
(which is typically incarceration in the custody of the sheriff or similar
court officer) is limited in its imposition for so long as the disobedience
to the court's order continues: once the party complies with the court's
order, the sanction is lifted. The imposed party is said to 'hold the keys'
to his or her own cell, thus conventional due process is not required."
While this is going on, Rick was just released
from his second stint in federal prison and is spending his nights at a
halfway house on Industrial Road ironically located only three blocks south
of his shuttered gold mine the Crazy Horse Too. The strip club was seized
by the federal government in 2007 and sold at auction in 2011 for $3 million
to a Los
Angeles investor who owned stock in a
bank the Rizzolos defrauded out of $5 million dollars in 2005. Last
week, the investor appeared before the Las Vegas City Council to apply
for new adult use zoning so he can sell or lease the derelict building
as a strip club. In return for new zoning, the investor offered to pay
an uncollected $1.46 million dollar fine the city levied on Rizzolo in
2006 for operating a public
nuisance. Many hoped the fine money could be paid to Kirk Henry instead
of going into the city's general fund. This opened a legal can of worms.
the June 20, 2012 hearing, Councilman
Bob Coffin (left) made this damning statement about the club's history
during the Rizzolo's ownership, and expressed his desire that the Henrys
get the full fine amount instead of it going into the city treasury:
"The issue of violence at the club was
well known to the community and the law enforcement community. I have lists
showing hundreds of calls for service at this address and the pattern continued
up until the day of Bobby DiApice breaking Kirk Henry's neck. But afterwards
for many years the calls for service continued for a place that should
have had its license jerked. A place that was employing felons, managed
by felons, no work records on hand, nothing at all that city inspectors
could take to prove that people were suitable. They had people licensed
there making a fortune and they were never called up for suitability.
What has been done for this guy (Kirk
Henry)? All I read in the paper is these mob guys running away from the
law, or running away from the judges, the judgments, laughing, getting
phony divorces, stuffing their money elsewhere. Nobody has done anything
for Kirk Henry! That everybody's bending over backwards here to help get
somebody into business at this notorious location.
The reason I sponsored this ordinance
is that some sharing of money, of this donation occur. So that's how this
bill came into being. I didn't know all the detail about these thugs that
were running this place except they seemed to have a lot of clout around
here because they kept their license. Things just kept going on. The good
times were rolling.
I think the bill is worthy, but I thought
that donation is being earmarked for the wrong person. The city has a budget,
money, tax money. It doesn't need to depend upon the kindness of strangers.
Let's not forget Mr. Henry. Mr. Henry is an integral part of this picture.
I want you to consider the possibility of as you move this forward you
think about him. I want to put some pictures on the record of Kirk Henry
and what he looked like before he got roughed up by the person, the owners
of this strip club.
I won't show any more pictures at this
time. I will have further pictures to show on July 18 of Mr. Henry in the
hospital. I just want to burn his face into my colleague's minds because
this is the real reason we're here today. Just because there's a donation
being made, its penance, its an act of contrition. And its not on behalf
of Rick Rizzolo. Rick Rizzolo, that thug is God knows where. In prison,
in and out of prison. Bobby DiApice, the man who broke Henry's neck is
driving a cab or limo somewhere around town, probably with a work card
for all I know! It doesn't seem to me to be right that everybody in this
city seems to make out except the victim of one of our licensed clubs.
And so therefore that's why I do not (want) any money to come to the city
yet. I do not want any money to be tendered to the city in any fashion
at this time. We can discuss the money on the 18th."
The council voted 6 to 1 to grant the Crazy
Horse Too new adult use zoning. Unfortunately, it's not that easy for the
investor to give the Henry's $1.46 million, and if he did, the donation
would not be credited against the millions Henry is still owed by the Rizzolos.
A precursor to Councilman Coffin's remarks
letter I authored on November 21, 2002 asking then-Mayor Oscar Goodman
to look into public safety related issues at the Crazy Horse Too. The mayor
waited three years to respond to my request.
|November 27, 2002
Honorable Mayor Goodman:
On October 25, 2001, you asked me to visit
your City Hall office. There, you initiated a discussion about bringing
the Crazy Horse Too topless bar before the council on a Show Cause Hearing
to defend its' privileged business license.
You told me that you were aware of allegations
of narcotics sales, prostitution, robberies, beatings, and a wrongful death
at the "gentleman's club." You also mentioned that you are "not doing any
favors for Joey Cusumano," though I did not bring up his name. As you know,
Mr. Cusumano is the acknowledged "best friend in the world" of the owner
of the Crazy Horse and one of your most prominent former clients, though
this fact should not be relevant to the case at hand.
Following our visit, you did not call a
Show Cause Hearing on the Crazy Horse. In fact, you sponsored a custom
designed ordinance so the bar could expand. In the meantime, you participated
in three Show Cause Hearings that resulted in the revocation of the privileged
licenses of King’s Market, Food Fair Market, and the Day & Night Convenience
Store, all located on the Westside.
On November 21, the evening after you received
my initial letter, KVBC TV Channel 3 News aired a two-part series produced
by investigative reporter Glen Meek on the life threatening problems and
mob connections at the Crazy Horse. The series can be viewed nationally
on KVBC TV's website which includes streaming video. I hope you watched
the investigative report because you may now be inspired to change your
mind about the Show Cause Hearing we discussed.
Mr. Meek cited Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department statistics indicating that the Crazy Horse received 165 police
calls in 1999, 239 in 2000, and 333 police calls in 2001 - more police
responses than any business on the Westside that suffered license revocation.
Meek also revealed that the Crazy Horse recorded 9 assaults and 6 robberies
involving bar employees over a two-year-period. In contrast, Metro Officer
Ron Freerksen testified before your council on November 6 that 369 calls
to police about Kings Market during a five-year-period was "disproportionate"
for a convenience store.
Mayor Goodman, the Crazy Horse Too had
a total of 737 police calls in a shorter three-year-period - far more than
any other privileged license holding business in your city. Doesn't that
qualify as "disproportionate" for a liquor serving business?
In the KVBC TV News report, Amy Henry,
the wife of a man who had his neck broken by Crazy Horse personnel, stated,
"I can't understand what kind of city or state would allow a place like
this to remain in business?"
After having personally sponsored three
Show Cause Hearings for privileged license holding businesses that had
far fewer problems, I concur with Mrs. Henry's observation. A business
that endangers the public's safety must be dealt with promptly by the licensing
authority. The Las Vegas City Council is that authority. An astounding
737 police calls in a three-year-period along with 9 assaults and 6 robberies
involving bar employees over a two-year-period should merit the council's
When a business becomes a public nuisance,
it reflects poorly on the entire city - the city you have devoted your
life to helping. As we discussed on Oct. 25, it is your responsibility
as the Mayor of Las Vegas to place Show Cause items on the agenda when
public nuisances threaten public safety. Because of a conflict of interest,
the councilman for Ward One in which the Crazy Horse is located cannot
participate. Therefore, I again request that you, Mayor Goodman, place
an item on the agenda to bring this business before the council to explain
why they deserve to hold a privileged license in the City of Las Vegas.
Please act before anyone else is crippled
Former Ward One Councilman
(Prior to being elected in
1999, Oscar Goodman was the criminal defense attorney
for Rick Rizzolo, Joey Lombardo, and Nevada Black
Book member Joey Cusumano. Lombardo and Cusumano were suspected of
having hidden ownership in the Crazy Horse Too. At the time of my letter,
One Councilman Michael J. McDonald was living
rent free in a Canyon Gate Country Club villa owned by Bobette Tegano,
the mother in law of Joey Cusumano, and he was also receiving a $5,000
per month "consulting" fee from the Crazy Horse Too.)
Three years after receiving my letter,
Mayor Goodman made a surprise visit to my home to try to explain his reasons
for not closing the Crazy Horse Too. He said his hands were tied because
Rizzolo was in the middle of a federal investigation, though Goodman in
January 2004 fined
Rizzolo's competitor Jack Galardi $1,095,000.00 in the middle of a
To Mayor Goodman's dismay, I
didn't pay attention to his concerns and on July 10, 2006 filed an
complaint that forced him to abstain for the next 18 months and not
vote on or discuss council items related to the Crazy Horse Too thereby
clearing the way for the
city to close the club one year after my complaint was filed, and --
hopefully -- end the violence once and for all.
April 26, 2005, Mayor Oscar Goodman visited Steve's home in response to
Steve's repeated calls for the
of the Crazy Horse Too. The day before his visit, Goodman's
former client Joey "The Clown" Lombardo
indicted in connection with 18 murders. Lombardo was a suspected hidden
owner of the strip club.
the middle of the street, Steve scolded Goodman for protecting his former
clients. (Photos by Mike Christ)
Rick Rizzolo and Crazy Horse Too manager Rocco
Lombardo during better times
Time would prove the validity of my concerns,
and today the story seems far from over.
Last Friday, June 22, 2012 Joe Schoenmann
of the LAS VEGAS SUN wrote a front page story, Donation
or bribe? Crazy Horse's $1.4 million quid pro quo raises questions:
Nevada ethics watchdog group likened an expected $1.46 million donation
to Las Vegas to a 'public bribe' after learning new owners of the shuttered
Crazy Horse Too strip club said they would give the city that much money
for a permit." “If anybody gets money, it ought to be Mr. Henry,” Coffin
added. “The city is hurt anytime something like this happens, and the
city had not corrected the problem (at Crazy Horse Too). I had a
list of police calls for service a mile long from 1998 to 2001 and tons
afterward. But licensing didn't clamp down on them. No one clamped down
Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist
John L. Smith wrote a column entitled Another
chapter begins in seedy story of Crazy Horse Too on Tuesday, June
19, the day before the council meeting that granted the Crazy Horse Too
a chance for a new life: "Rizzolo made millions and sprinkled the
local political and judicial circuits with more campaign cash than many
corporate casinos. Quick to buy a drink, quicker to read the local
playing field: He was the mayor of the Las Vegas night. Police were
called hundreds of times to the Crazy Horse Too, but neither the local
coppers nor cross-eyed bureaucrats from the city of Las Vegas could find
it in the community's best interests to close the place. And if on
occasion a drunken customer was beaten nearly to death with a ball bat,
well, no one said topless club racketeers were choirboys. The Crazy
Horse Too remained open for business even after that early morning in September
2001 when Kansas tourist Kirk Henry nearly had his head wrenched from his
shoulders by some of its bouncers."
On the evening following the June 20 hearing,
city hall reporter Benjamin Spillman penned the front page story Infamous
topless club may get new life: "A notorious Las Vegas topless
club could reopen thanks to a city ordinance approved Wednesday, but it's
unlikely good fortune for the owners of Crazy Horse Too will do much for
a man who was paralyzed during an altercation there." "The vote came
with an assumption the new owners would make a $1.4 million donation to
the city, an amount similar to a fine owed by former Crazy Horse owner
Rick Rizzolo. The donation wouldn't excuse Rizzolo from the fine. And while
Councilman Bob Coffin, who proposed the ordinance, wants to get some or
all of the money to Henry, City Attorney Brad Jerbic has advised council
members such a move wouldn't pass legal muster." "Rizzolo, who has been
suspected of having ties to organized crime, has been to federal prison
for violating tax laws and has been ordered by a court to pay Henry a $10
million judgment. Despite the order and allegations Rizzolo is socking
money away to fund a lavish lifestyle, Henry has only seen about $1
million of the amount he is owed."
The $1 million was paid from Rizzolo's
Farmers Insurance umbrella policy and was immediately exhausted paying
Kirk Henry's initial medical, physical therapy, living, and legal expenses.
So it remains to be seen whether the Henry
family will gain any benefit from the re-zoning. However, based on recent
actions by a Federal Court that's running on all twelve cylinders in a
race to get the Henrys paid, the Rizzolo matriarchs, ex-wife Lisa and stepmother
Kimtran, may soon have to pay for Rick Rizzolo's sins with his stashed
away cash, or contemplate their next move from behind bars while Rick