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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:

"Show Me The Money!"
  Rizzolo hires expensive new
  criminal defense attorney

         Racketeer Rick Rizzolo              U.S. Federal Judge Phillip M. Pro        Attorney Dominic Gentile

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 19, 2010

LAS VEGAS - CNBC's Suze Orman says, "Show Me The Money!" during the "Can I Afford It?" segment of her TV show.

Sometime in the near future, United States Federal Judge Phillip M. Pro may ask the same questions when convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo appears in court next to Dominic Gentile, one of Las Vegas' highest priced criminal defense attorneys. For the past several years, Rizzolo has claimed to be broke.

Remember, this is the same Rick Rizzolo who in February 2010, told the court he may have to sell his personal possessions to a pawn shop to pay for his living expenses, then began representing himself pro se.

So where is Rizzolo going to get the money to pay an esteemed legal scholar like Gentile? Possibly from his ex-wife Lisa's fortune hidden in the Cook Islands. Or maybe from cash stashed in several casino cage safe deposit boxes. Remember, he did plead guilty to income tax evasion from his former cash cow business the Crazy Horse Too topless bar.

Rick and Lisa's main and only defense as to why they are not obligated to pay any of their court ordered debts is that their "sham" 2005 divorce was effectuated pursuant to a valid court order by a court of competent jurisdiction which equitably divided their community property.

Keep in mind that the "competent" judge who signed their divorce papers allowing Lisa to immediately send the couple's cash off shore was the Honorable Steven Jones (mug shot on left).

So as not to bore you with the details of the very questionable divorce, here's a LINK to an INSIDE VEGAS column on the subject.

If this is the best the Rizzolos can come up with to try and prove their fortune was not purposefully stashed overseas to avoid paying their court ordered debts, Mr. Gentile will have his work cut out for him!

And what about the cash from Rizzolo's multi-million dollar per year skim (he plead guilty to income tax evasion which is also known as skimming)? Where is it now? Many believe stashed in several Strip hotel casino cage lock boxes. He does owe the IRS over $6 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties. The government doesn't saddle someone with such a burden unless they suspect a lot more cash went unreported, and Strip hotels keep information about who has casino safety deposit boxes their best kept secret.

"Dominic Gentile never takes a case unless a client gives him six figures up front."

These are the words of another veteran Las Vegas criminal defense attorney who asked not to be named.

"With Rick's history (of pretending to stiff lawyers), I don't think Dominic has him on an extended payment plan," stated the attorney.

But charging high fees does not guarantee that Mr. Gentile can get Rizzolo off from paying his court ordered debts.

Former Clark County Commissioner Lance Malone, even with Gentile's best efforts, was sentenced to six years in federal prison for taking bribes from a competitor of Rizzolo. However, Malone's co-conspirators on the County Commission received sentences of only 30 and 50 months respectively after they turned government witnesses. But based on Gentile's advice, Malone refused to cooperate with the feds and received a much longer sentence than his peers, something I'm certain Malone now regrets.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal; "...when asked to sum up the judge's ruling in a single word, Malone's lawyer, Dominic Gentile, first muttered, 'Shit.' He then said: 'Ouch.' "

Rizzolo may have much of the same to look forward to when his case finally goes to trial.  And the words "Shit," and "Ouch" may not adequately express Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's true feelings if the court goes after their hidden fortune.

Veteran crime reporter Jeff German in his July 12, Las Vegas Legal News column wrote; "Gentile’s legal talents don’t come cheap."

"Gentile’s association with Rizzolo comes as U.S. District Judge Philip Pro is considering whether to hit Rizzolo with heavy sanctions for being slow to turn over financial documents in the court case."

"Kirk Henry, from the Kansas City area, is suing Rizzolo for fraud in federal court stemming from a fight at the Crazy Horse Too in 2001 that left him paralyzed. A club employee allegedly broke Henry’s neck after the man argued his bar tab had been padded," wrote German.

"Rizzolo agreed to pay Henry $10 million as a result of a plea agreement in 2006 to end a long-time federal racketeering investigation at the Crazy Horse Too. But four years later, Rizzolo has only given him $1 million, which was paid by his insurance company."

German ends by writing; "Gentile might be valuable to Rizzolo if Pro lets the hammer fall in court."

(Early articles about Rizzolo written by Jeff German in 1996 and 1997:

Rizzolo has long been trying to convince the court he's broke, and that the only way he can pay his debts is from the proceeds from the sale of his defunct topless bar. The place has been on the market with no legitimate takers since Rizzolo went to prison in 2006, and it doesn't look like it will ever sell for enough to cover even a fraction of the Rizzolo's court ordered obligations.

But what may really get Judge Pro's attention is that Gentile is at complete odds with Rizzolo's prior attorney Tony Sgro who on September 2, 2006, told the Las Vegas City Council: "...the Henrys are to be paid whether or not the sale of the club yields sufficient funds."

In other words, Rick and Lisa Rizzolo are personally responsible to pay over $26 million dollars in court ordered debts according to Rick's former attorney! And Lisa has stashed at least that much in a Cook Islands bank out of reach of the the United States Federal Court, the IRS, and Kirk Henry.

So, unless Dominic Gentile can convince him that his client is broke, and was involved in a legitimate divorce, it will soon be up to Judge Pro to force the Rizzolo's to either repatriate their ill-gotten stash, or pay criminal penalties for refusing to do so.

I've been told the IRS is getting impatient, and needless to say, Kirk Henry has waited far to long!

Several years after Sgro made his highly revealing statement about the Henrys being paid whether or not the Crazy Horse Too yields sufficient funds, Rizzolo  began his poverty routine and supposedly stiffed Sgro on his legal fees. Sgro filed this Petition possibly to help Rizzolo make his point:

After the above document was filed, Rizzolo supposedly began representing himself saying he couldn't afford an attorney, but it was soon discovered that this was also a ruse.

Rizzolo had hired a biker friend to author hundreds of bogus court filings to which Rizzolo signed his name. This was suspected to be a stalling technique to keep Kirk Henry from getting paid before he dies from his injuries.

The author was actually a man named James Kimsey, alias Spud.

According to Las Vegas Review-Journal court reporter Carrie Geer Thevenot; "...the Henrys' lawyers said they had racked up $260,000 in fees while responding to frivolous motions from Rizzolo and Kimsey. They also suggested that the relationship between the two felons violates the conditions of Rizzolo's release from prison."

The federal court did not punish Rizzolo even though he signed his name to dozens of ghost written bogus documents and violated his parole conditions by associating with another felon, but the court did throw the book at Kimsey for practicing law without a license.

Judge Pro may find this all very interesting in light of the fact that Rizzolo purportedly still owes his former attorney $80,400.00; the IRS over $6 million, and Kirk Henry $9 million that Rizzolo promised to pay in exchange for a feather light prison sentence.

With such a history of tricks being played on the court, it's no wonder Judge Pro is probably getting anxious to put an end to this drawn out case especially since it's going on ten years since Kirk Henry's neck was broken.

In the meantime, Dominic Gentile should make sure he gets paid cash in advance. And Judge Pro, the IRS, and Kirk Henry should make every effort to find out where Gentile's legal fees are coming from. "Show Me The Money!"

Copyright © Steve Miller


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