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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:

Requiem for a Strip Joint
"Pillar of the Community" vs. "Las Vegas Most Colorful Character"

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 16, 2007

           Rick Rizzolo                                         Buffalo Jim Barrier

LAS VEGAS -  Crazy Horse Too owner-turned-convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo was once referred to as a "Pillar of the community" for his generous contributions to local charity.  Today the multi-millionaire is known as Number
while he sits in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center chain smoking and claiming to be broke.

Former pro wrestler-turned-auto garage owner Buffalo Jim Barrier was once referred to as "Las Vegas's Most Colorful Character" for his courage to take on the Vegas mob.  Today he continues to successfully operate his funky garage next door to Rizzolo's shuttered topless bar.

       Where Rizzolo spends his time                 Where Barrier spends his time

How did this role reversal come about?

  midnight June 30, officials from the City of Las Vegas converged on Rizzolo's Crazy Horse Too and removed its liquor license, ending over 30 years of violence, prostitution, drug sales, and extortion.

Per his plea agreement, Rizzolo agreed to sell the Crazy Horse within 12 months. That did not occur by June 30, so the place went dark.

Department of Justice SealThe United States Department of Justice, District of Nevada  
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Additionally, defendants’ plea agreements require The Power Company, Inc. to sell The Crazy Horse Too by June 1, 2007. The Government has the right to disapprove the sale if the buyer is a close relative or ongoing business partner of Rizzolo’s, is a felon, or has business dealings with organized crime members or groups.

In the meantime, Rizzolo's court ordered liabilities are unpaid including $1.73 million in restitution to the IRS, $10 million restitution to Kirk and Amy Henry for injuries and damages to Henry who was left a quadriplegic after being beaten by a club employee in 2001 -- an obligation Rizzolo has shown no intent of honoring.
Rizzolo must also forfeit $4.25 million acquired unlawfully from racketeering activity or unlawful debt collection at The Crazy Horse Too; $1 million to a District Court escrow account set aside for Buffalo Jim Barrier; $5 million to the first mortgage holder; $1 million in fines to the City of Las Vegas; and the rest in capitol gains tax -- total $28 million.

Nevada State Assemblyman Bob Beers wrote a letter asking Judge Pro what's next?  In response, Judge Pro issued this ORDER making it even less clear:

The deadline in the plea agreement has passed, but the deadline in Judge Pro's ORDER is six months away. I guess the Crazy Horse must stay dark while its being sold because neither the Court ORDER nor the D.O.J. Press Release make it clear what's to happen in the event the place didn't sell by June 1, or by January 23.

I've been told that If Rizzolo or the U.S. Attorneys can't find a bonafide buyer by January 23, the Federal Court may turn the property over to the bank who holds a $5 million dollar first mortgage and let them dispose of the property, or the Feds can schedule an auction. If that happens, Kirk Henry, the IRS, the City, and Barrier could get pennies on the dollar unless the Feds go after Rizzolo's personal assets.

If so, then Lisa and Rick Rizzolo better hide their assets pronto! The transfer of assets in their bogus divorce can get reversed I'm told.

But there's still hope Henry, the IRS, the City, and Barrier will get paid because there are two legitimate offers now pending from bidders with no La Cosa Nostra connections..

All I've ever wanted since 1999 when I began covering this bloody story was to see the violence end. It was a Godsend when the place finally went dark.

Meanwhile, two bonafide offers to purchase the dark Crazy Horse are on the U.S. Attorney's table. One from a San Francisco office building developer for $18 million. The other from a long time local businessman for $28 million.

There are two other suspect offers however. An offer for $34.5 million has reportedly been made by a Los Angeles medical doctor who sources  say is a silent partner in the Golden Steer Steakhouse, the restaurant owned by Rizzolo's former alleged straw man. And another purported offer for an outrageous $48 million is said to come from a 32 year old Miami man with ties to Rizzolo associate Fred Doumani.

The first two offers come from persons I know and respect. The other two offers come from guys I believe are tied to Rizzolo in one way or another.

Now its up to the U.S. Attorney or Rizzolo's new lawyer to "properly place the matter before the court by an appropriate motion." Even if the U.S. Attorney makes such a motion, the plea agreement still allows Rizzolo to reject any offer.

If Rizzolo squelches a legitimate offer, the Federal Court will have no other choice on or before January 23 but to attach Lisa and Rick Rizzolo's vast personal assets, and auction the Crazy Horse real estate to pay the liabilities.

I believe Rizzolo, et. al.  would rather torch the Crazy Horse than let it go to a buyer who refuses to include him and his associates in as silent partners. And I don't expect the Feds to take seriously any offer from someone Rizzolo's new attorney brings forward. So Buffalo Jim Barrier better make sure he has adequate fire insurance coverage through January 23.

Nonetheless, the place is dark, and there is no reason for it to reopen with Rizzolo silently pulling the strings now that the Federal Court has spoken. With no liquor license, its not worth much, but there are two legitimate buyers willing to pay more than the market value of $6 - 8 million. The Feds still have six months to sell the joint, but who knows how long the legitimate offers will remain in effect.

Its Rick Rizzolo's  time to put up or shut up. This is the price he will pay for beating Rick Sandlin with a baseball bat, and letting his goons kick Scott David Fau to death in the parking lot, plus all the others who were beaten or ripped off in his club.


Benny Binion's grandson gets away with beating up another woman in Piero's
Benny Behnen                               Freddy Glusman
For the second time in seven years, Benny Binion's grandson Benny Behnen has slugged a woman in Piero's restaurant, and gotten away with it.

If this coward is allowed to continue assaulting women, its likely he'll someday believe he can get away with murdering one.

According to eyewitnesses, Behnen, 30, on Monday night July 9, slammed Sandra Murphy's head down on a table, and gave her a shot to the jaw. He also reportedly kicked her when she fell to the ground.

Piero's management reportedly did not intervene. Restaurant patrons eventually had to stop the beating.
Benhen's first reported assault occurred on Aug. 25, 2000 when he beat up Summer Stupak while Piero's employees and owners watched.
According to the police report, "The owner of Piero's did nothing to intervene or stop this assault."
On that occasion, Ms. Stupak did press charges, however police refused to arrest Behnen most likely because the Behnen family were generous political campaign contributors to Clark County Sheriff's races when they owned the downtown Horseshoe Casino.
It happened again last week, and again Benny was not arrested as was the case in the late 1990's when a local prostitute complained he almost beat her to death in a Strip hotel room.
Its time to throw the book at Benny Behnen. And Freddy Glusman, owner of Piero's in LV and the Ritz in Newport Beach should be sued for condoning violence in his place of business.

When Ms. Stupak was attacked, Glusman said it reminded him of "The old Las Vegas." When Ms. Murphy was attacked, he said it reminded him of the "Old wild, wild West
However, it doesn't surprise me that Freddy sits back and watches women being beaten because he's close friends with the violent men who ran the Crazy Horse Too. In fact, Rick Rizzolo has long been suspected of being Freddy's hidden business partner.
The LV Metro Police Department has the duty to arrest anyone who brutally assaults a
citizen in front of numerous witnesses. The D.A. also has the duty to prosecute anyone who police arrest for beating up a woman, especially in a public setting.
Just because Clark County District Attorney David Roger suffered the humiliation of having his conviction of Sandra Murphy overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court and a subsequent jury
later found her innocent of killing Benny Behnen's uncle Ted Binion, the police and Roger are malfeasant for not immediately pursuing charges against Benny Behnen for beating her up.
Murphy foolishly chose to not press charges possibly so as not to embarrass her supposed friend Glusman, but LV Metro Police and the D.A. have that responsibility as they do in all assault and violence cases in Clark County whether the victim wants to press charges or not.
Benny Behnen should immediately be charged with a crime no matter who is relatives are, and jailed in spite of Roger's ego, or political campaign contributions he and the Sheriff received from Benny Behnen's family, or the mob infested fund raising parties Glusman threw for them at Piero's and the Ritz.

Steve Miller is currently writing a book about the mob's battle to keep the Crazy Horse Too open.

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