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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:

Hiding behind his ex-wife's skirt tails, Rick Rizzolo
avoids paying his financial obligations,  but will
Lisa Rizzolo get stuck paying for his actions?

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
June 8, 2009

LAS VEGAS - Convicted Racketeer Rick Rizzolo plea bargained for a light prison sentence by promising Federal Prosecutors he would pay over $28 million dollars in personal debts including $9 million to a Kansas tourist who in 2001 was crippled by one of the Rizzolo's employees.

In 2005, four years after Kansas tourist Kirk Henry suffered a broken neck for protesting a bogus $88 bar tab at the Rizzolo's then-imfamous Crazy Horse Too topless bar in Vegas, Rick Rizzolo and his wife were still in possession of his vast ill-gotten fortune while the IRS, Henry, a California bank, and numerous other creditors were being stymied when trying to collect what they are owed.

Up until last Friday, it was only speculated that Lisa Rizzolo, three weeks before her about-to-be ex-husband began his plea bargaining, participated in a collusive divorce and clandestine scheme to transfer most of the couple's assets to off shore accounts.

It was believed that because the Rizzolos used John Dawson, a well known asset protection lawyer who specializes in hiding his client's cash in foreign accounts, the scheme would be bullet proof. Also, John is the brother of U.S. Federal Court Judge Kent Dawson, the same judge who presided over the trials of 15 Crazy Horse employees, and handed down suspiciously light sentences.

And what about the prestigious law firm Lionel Sawyer & Collins where John Dawson works? Are they proud of their associate's mob clientele?

It's been fifteen months since Rick Rizzolo was released from prison. Quadriplegic Kirk Henry is still waiting for his ongoing medical bills to be paid while Rizzolo is seen squandering tens of thousands in cash in local casinos on a nightly basis.

Rizzolo parties with Elias Ghanem in a $3,000 per night Body English booth, while beating victim
Kirk Henry waits in an electric wheelchair for his $9 million dollar settlement
(, and KVBC TV News photos)

In May, attorneys for Henry asked U.S. Judge Philip Pro to issue a Court Order requiring the law firm Lionel Sawyer and Collins to produce all financial documents pertaining to RIck and Lisa Rizzolo. This after the criminal defense firm that represents the couple, Patti & Sgro, filed papers with the Federal Court purporting that all the Rizzolo's financial records and legal documents were destroyed in a "flood" at the law office.

Until last Friday when INSIDE VEGAS obtained the transcript of Lisa's deposition in the Kirk Henry case, even the FBI did not know where the couple's assets are actually hidden.

The Dawson brothers, Federal Judge Kent, and asset protection lawyer John

John Dawson is the brother of Federal Judge Kent Dawson, an appointee of U.S. Senator Harry Reid who is a business partner of Jay Brown (see: Democrat leader reaped $1.1 million from sale of land he didn't own - USA Today, 10/11/2006). Brown was one of the Rizzolo's former corporate agents, and represented the Crazy Horse in 2006.

John Dawson's name has not yet been mentioned as an alleged co-conspirator, but I believe it's just a matter of time -- no matter who his brother is -- before the "asset protection" expert is also subpoenaed for deposition.

In 2008, John Dawson was a featured speaker at the annual conference of the Southpac Offshore Planning Institute 2008 Annual Conference held at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. The next seminar is scheduled for Encore at the Wynn Las Vegas on October 1 & 2, 2009, and John Dawson may again be a featured speaker.

According to a conference attendee, John Dawson neglected to tell the audience how he hid the Rizzolo's assets at the same time his brother was presiding over the highly publicized trials of the couple's goon squad. But during his Southpac presentation, Dawson reportedly did a good job of analyzing the potential for attorney liability, a subject he should be acutely aware of.

 By no surprise, Mr. Dawson is also the Rizzolo's corporate agent.
Business Entity Information
Status:   Active  File Date:   6/19/1972
Type:   Domestic Corporation Corp Number:   C1966-1972
Qualifying State:   NV List of Officers Due:   6/30/2008
Resident Agent Information
Name:   JOHN E. DAWSON, ESQ. Address 1: 300 S. FOURTH ST.
Address 2:   SUITE 1700 City:   LAS VEGAS
State:   NV Zip Code:   89101

Below are excerpts from Lisa Rizzolo's May 12, 2009 deposition. She clearly demonstrates why mobsters should not trust their wives with the responsibility of keeping the whereabouts of their ill-gotten fortune a secret.

Not only did Lisa reveal the whereabouts of her husband's hidden cash, she revealed that she repeatedly violated IRS income reporting laws.

I submit the following information for Lisa Rizzolo's careful consideration:

An agency of the U.S. Department of Justice
The Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Dublin, California, is a low security facility housing female offenders. The institution also has an adjacent administrative detention facility housing adult males on holdover or pre-trial status, and a minimum security satellite camp housing adult female offenders.

FCI Dublin is located 20 miles southeast of Oakland on the Camp Parks Army Reserve Forces Training Area (RFTA) Military Base.

Judicial District: Northern California

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