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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:

Rizzolo parties 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

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 14, 2008

Rick Rizzolo at Body English, 2;00 AM, 7/10/08                   Kirk Henry at home in 2007 (KVBC TV News)

LAS VEGAS - It's been seven years since Kansas tourist Kirk Henry disputed his Crazy Horse Too bar tab and received a broken neck for his trouble.

Henry, since 2001, is a quadriplegic confined to an electric wheelchair. In 2006, as part of his plea bargain, ex-Crazy Horse owner Rick Rizzolo agreed to pay Henry $10 million for his injuries in exchange for a one year and one day sentence in federal prison.

To prevent any more Kirk Henry-type-incidents, the government seized the property and shut down the racketeering enterprise. The city followed by permanently revoking  the club's liquor license and removing its adult use zoning.

The feds lived up to their part of the plea bargain on April 4, 2008 by setting Rizzolo free. But Rizzolo welched on his part. Kirk Henry has yet to receive one dime from Rizzolo's hidden fortune.

The only compensation Henry has received was a $1 million dollar payment from Rizzolo's insurance policy, and that has long since been used to pay for his around the clock medical needs and family's living expenses.

Since returning from prison, Rizzolo has claimed to be broke -- having transferred all of his assets to his wife in a hastily conceived 2005 divorce. But he can still afford to shell out $3,000 per night to rent a private booth at one of Las Vegas' most hip night clubs -- Body English at the Hard Rock -- and that doesn't include the expensive booze he serves his guests! That's on a separate tab.

According to the Hard Rock website, "The lower level of Body English offers VIP reserved tables, a second bar and an ultra-VIP area known as The Parlor. The exclusive room boasts privacy glass preventing onlookers from seeing inside the private lounge, bar, and DJ scene."

When he's not spending cash like a drunken sailor at Body English, Rizzolo has recently been observed back at the Hard Rock's black jack tables where he's famous for losing hundreds of thousands per night.

While at Body English, Rizzolo and one of his guests named Terrence Maisano told an INSIDE VEGAS source that they are out of the "skin business" and going to open up a place behind Twin Towers called "Fontainebleau" that will be a regular dance club. Maisano reportedly said he already had the contract written up.

Dave Bishop and Elian Ghanem were also spotted at the private booth enjoying Rizzolo's largesse which reportedly included the most expensive Champaign, vodka, Scotch, and tequila the Hard Rock has to offer.

Bishop told a source that he formerly worked for Rizzolo "in management," but it was later learned that he was a bar boy at the Crazy Horse Too, and that Rizzolo dated his sister. (Notice the quantity of premium liquor on the table.)

As the evening progressed, several witnesses report that Rizzolo bought drinks for a number of women and seemed to be fully enjoying his freedom after his year in the slammer. It's also reported that these parties have been a nightly occurrence since his release, and attract a constant stream of freeloaders.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Currently, Henry has partial use of his arms and little control of his fingers. He must rely on his wife as a full-time nurse and is depending on his father to make their house payments. 'I have to rely on my wife just to get me out of bed,' Henry said in the telephone interview. 'I made most of the money before, but now I constantly feel like I'm a burden to my family.' "

While Kirk Henry suffers, Rick Rizzolo's outrageous behavior has attracted the attention of his enemies -- the fifteen former Crazy Horse employees who Rizzolo convinced to plea bargain to tax evasion so he could cut a sweeter deal for himself with federal prosecutors, and keep his father, brother, and sister from being prosecuted.

Several ex-Crazy Horse employees report that Rizzolo promised them free lawyers that would get them off if they pleaded guilty to tax fraud. When the free lawyers did not materialize, and their guilty pleas were answered with felony convictions and probation, the ex-employees waited patiently for Rizzolo to return to town to take out their revenge.

Rizzolo's every move and association is now being reported and recorded as he makes his nightly rounds and squanders his cash -- money owed to Kirk Henry, the IRS, Security Pacific Bank of California, and City of Las Vegas among other creditors. His usual haunts: Piero's; the Hard Rock; MGM; and Palms are reportedly under constant surveillance, as are his safety deposit boxes in several casino cages.

Federal Judge Philip Pro ordered that Rizzolo pay his creditors $28 million in the following numerical order:
All of the United States Marshals Service's costs, expenses, and private counsel's attorney fees for the real property transaction related to the care and the sale of the Property and the Trademark and Trade name Crazy Horse Too, including but not limited to the maintenance, the protection, the repair, the service of process, the publication, the utilities, the insurance, the CB Richard Ellis real estate commission, the escrow, the closing costs, the real estate transfer tax, private counsel's attorney fees for the real property transaction, etc.;

The Clark County Taxes owed on the Property with penalties and interest 
The City of Las Vegas sewer Iein 
The Security Pacific Bank ($5 million dollar) loan with attorneys' fees, penalties, and interest
The restitution of US $9,000,000.00 plus interest to Kirk and Amy Henry
The restitution of US $1,734,000.00 plus accruals to the IRS 
The assessment of US $500.00 plus interest
The fines of US $750,000.00 plus interest
The forfeiture of US $4,250,000.00 plus interest
The City of Las Vegas judgment lien of US $2,192,000.00 plus interest 
The IRS tax Ian against Rizzolo for the 2006 individual income taxes of US $1,032,535.26 plus accruals

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that alI right, title, and interest in the forfeited Property described above is condemned, forfeited, and vested in the United States subject to the conditions mentioned above and shall be disposed of according to law.

DATED this 24 day of June, 2008.

Philip M. PRO
United States District Judge

But even the above ORDER is apparently not putting a damper on Rizzolo's celebration. He's out there every night blowing a wad of cash and attracting the attention of federal prosecutors, attorneys for Security Pacific Bank, the Henry's, and of course the IRS.

District Judge Jackie Glass who is presiding over Kirk Henry's district court lawsuit should be especially concerned because on June 30, 2007, she denied Henry's attorneys the ability to locate and examine Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's hidden personal assets, assets that the FBI reported: "...have been commingled with criminal proceeds and cannot be divided without difficulty."

Judge Glass' husband, City Councilman Steve Wolfson in June 2008, voted to let the night club's zoning expire. Since the rezoning, the only rumored buyer is Sherwin-Williams Paint for a new retail outlet. Real estate experts predict the property is now worth under $5 million.

The only way creditors can get paid is to go after Rick and Lisa Rizzolo personally. So it will be up to Judge Glass in district court, and Judge Pro in federal court to apply the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA) to seize the couple's hidden assets. According to Rick's plea bargain, he or his wife cannot declare bankruptcy.

In light of this, the Rizzolo's lawyers have expressed their fears.

One of Rizzolo's relatives told an INSIDE VEGAS source that Rick is anticipating the seizure of his homes in Las Vegas, Newport Beach, and Chicago sometime in the near future. So he's trying to spend as much as he can to show how careless he is with cash to try to prove he lost his liquid assets gambling before and after he went to prison.

If necessary, the gambling losses can be disputed because the IRS requires casinos to keep a record of every gambling transaction over $10,000.

Judge Pro and Judge Glass hopefully will not fall for this ploy, and will apply the UFTA immediately to stop the financial bleeding and pay Mr. Henry and other creditors.

In the meantime, Rizzolo's excessive behavior may be of interest to his parole officer.

Rizzolo crony arrested

Fred Glusman ,76, was named "Las Vegas Citizen of the Month" by Mayor Oscar Goodman on September 11, 2002. Six years later, on June 25, 2008, he was charged with beating up a woman in Newport Beach, California.

This is not the first time Glusman has been accused of beating up women. According to Wikopedia, "In 1973, (singer Diahann) Carroll surprised the press by marrying Las Vegas boutique owner Fred Glusman. She and British television host and producer David Frost had been dating at the time, and were engaged. After several weeks, she filed for divorce from Glusman, charging physical abuse."

Glusman (left) is shown in this Orange County Weekly photo with casino owner Gary Primm at Glusman's Ritz restaurant in Newport Beach celebrating their appointment as Orange County Honorary Deputy Sheriffs (note the badge on Glusman's lapel). In the center is disgraced ex-Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona.

Glusman was forced to surrender his badge in October 2005 when he flashed it over a disputed parking space. According to the Orange County Register, "The "badging" incident involved a hard-to-find parking spot last Fourth of July outside a coffee shop at Island and West Balboa, according to Newport Beach police Sgt. Bill Hartford. The shop owner flagged a traffic-control officer to complain that Glusman had parked in a customer-only spot. Hartford said Glusman showed a badge, which the shop owner took."

Even though he once carried a badge, girls were not safe at Glusman's restaurants. His Piero's in Las Vegas has twice been the scene of women being beaten while Glusman's employees watched.

The first reported beating occurred on Friday, August 25, 2000. Stratosphere Tower developer Bob Stupak was dining with his 23-year-old daughter Summer at Piero's when they were attacked and beaten. According to police reports, restaurant employees did nothing to stop the beating. Summer Stupak sustained bruises from the assault.

One of the assailants was reported to be then-23-year-old Benny Behnen (holding cigar), the grandson of Horseshoe founder Benny Binion.

An unidentified female restaurant employee who witnessed the melee was quoted in police reports describing the event. Glusman reportedly fired the employee after he learned she talked to police. Summer Stupak was also quoted in the police report stating: "The owner of Piero's did nothing to intervene or stop this assault."

Glusman later denied the incident occurred telling reporters, "I didn't see anything, I was in the other room. Benny didn't have anything to do with it. He wasn't even in the goddamn room. He was sitting with Becky in the other room."

Glusman called the incident a "nonevent", and tried to laugh it off by saying it reminded him of "old Las Vegas."

Before police arrived, Behnen fled the scene but returned later to be seen with Glusman drinking at the bar.

On July 9, 2007, another woman was beaten up at Piero's while restaurant staff stood by and watched.

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Norm Clark wrote: "An altercation involving Sandy Murphy and Benny Behnen, grandson of Horseshoe founder Benny Binion, erupted at Piero's Italian Cuisine late Monday. By the time two unidentified NBA coaches broke up the melee, Murphy had a clump of hair ripped from her scalp as she was trying to escape her assailant."

"When scuffling broke out, Murphy moved away from the trouble and was near the kitchen exit when she was cornered by a young man. 'Sandy wanted to get out of there,' said her attorney, Herb Sachs. 'Behnen saw her, targeted her, and punched her, kicked her and grabbed her hair.' "

Again, no restaurant employee intervened.

"It was like old wild, wild West," Glusman told reporters. Then, like the night of the Stupak beating, Behnen was later seen drinking at the bar with Glusman.

After reporting the two incidents involving Behnen, I received the following email from Behnen's best friend.
Subject:    Dominic Rizzolo 

This is Dominic Rizzolo. You have some nerve calling anyone a coward especially my best friend Benny Benhen (sp). It was you (steve miller) who gave up his own daughter for cocaine that was found in your possession in a car you were driving [1]. If that isnt (sp) the definition of a cunt and a coward then i dont (sp) know what is. Why dont (sp) you make a copy of this email and put it on your website so that people can see just what kind of person your are. If you were to see any of us around you would scurry like a frightened rabbit.

Dominic Rizzolo 

Dominic proves that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He's scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on July 30, for stabbing a man during a fight.

Freddie Glusman appears to be Benny Behnen's mentor when it comes to beating up girls!

On July 11, 2008, the Laguna Journal reported, "An Orange County former sheriff's reserves volunteer, and major campaign donor to ex-Sheriff Mike Carona, has been arrested for beating up a waitress who worked for him at the Ritz Restaurant in Newport Beach, California. Public information officer Sgt. Evan Sailor said, 'a police report indicates that Fred Glusman owner of the Ritz restaurant in Newport Beach was charged with 'battery with intent to cause great bodily injury.' The victim Jennifer Kennedy age 30, was treated at Hoag Hospital ER for a tooth having been knocked out, bloody nose and other multiple cuts and bruises."

Fred Glusman on April 29, 2007, hosted a "Going Away" party at the Ritz for ex-Crazy Horse Too owner and convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo who also has a history of violence.

In 2000, two years before Glusman was named "Citizen of the Month," Rizzolo was referred to as a "Pillar of the Community" at a Las Vegas City Council hearing.

This is how a party guest described the melancholy farewell event for the "pillar" of the Las Vegas and Newport Beach community:

"I despise these people. Rizzolo had Joe Pesci, Jerry Tarkanian (former UNLV basketball coach and husband of LV Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian), Gary Primm among other old Las Vegas cronies of his that have one foot in the grave. They were accompanied by silicon filled hookers that stood out at the Ritz like the Grand Wizard of the KKK at a Martin Luther King rally. Others present were very prominent professionals in business in the Newport Beach area. Guests were all met by Ritz employees dressed in prison outfits pointing machine guns at them. All guests were provided with handcuffs and other prison/inmate related novelties. In addition, all guests had their pictures taken while standing behind a makeshift prison cell with jail bars with Taft Penitentiary booking number and all. It was meant to be a slap in the face to the Feds."

Below is how federal prosecutors described the festive event:

But what makes all of the above even more fascinating is that very few citizens of Las Vegas really give a damn, and the majority of stories I cover are not reported by the local media.

Maybe it's because some of the characters I write about are high rollers, and casinos have a special way of protecting their "whales."

With a mantra like "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," I can only caution visitors to ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!

The Southern California media is much more vigilant about Las Vegas thugs invading their turf. Hopefully Laguna and Newport Beach will never suffer the fate of Sin City -- becoming so callous as to blindly accept dredges of society as respected citizens.

I dedicate this week's column to the memory of Buffalo Jim Barrier who is responsible for ending the violence at the Crazy Horse Too.

Listen to: The Ghost of Buffalo Jim

Copyright © Steve Miller

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