Rizzolo Banned From Casinos
"You shall not enter,
frequent, or be involved with any legal
or illegal gambling
establishment or activity, except for the
purpose of employment
as approved and directed by the
United States Judge Philip Pro
Rizzolo leaving court with attorneys Dominic Gentile and Margaret Lambrose
after being convicted of parole violations resulting in nine additional
federal prison, and a two year extension of his supervised release
(AmericanMafia.com photo by Mike Christ)
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 25, 2011
LAS VEGAS - To a degenerate gambler, a
fate worse than jail was rendered last Wednesday in Las Vegas Federal Court.
Convicted racketeer Rick
Rizzolo was ordered to stay out of casinos for the next three years
after being sentenced to an additional nine months in federal prison and
an extension of twenty four months to his parole for repeatedly violating
the conditions of his supervised release.
In 2006, Rizzolo, the former owner of the
now defunct Crazy Horse Too strip club in Las Vegas and part owner of the
former Crazy Horse Too in Philadelphia, plead guilty to tax evasion and
racketeering. He received an abbreviated one year prison sentence and two
years of supervised release after agreeing to pay over $24 million in court
ordered debts including $14 million to the IRS in back taxes and fines,
million fine owed to the City of Las Vegas, and restitution of $9 million
plus interest to Kirk
Henry whose neck was broken by a Vegas Crazy Horse Too manager after
the Kansas tourist disputed a padded bar tab.
Rizzolo is followed out of the Las Vegas Federal Court House by Steve Miller
and Buffalo Jim Barrier
pleading guilty to racketeering and tax evasion. (AmericanMafia.com photo
by Mike Christ, 06/01/06)
Several months before his plea agreement,
family attorneys arranged a sham
divorce wherein he transferred the
majority of his riches to his long time wife Lisa. Then with the help
of asset protection attorney John Dawson, brother of Federal Court Judge
Kent Dawson, over ten million dollars in assets were secretly transferred
to a bank in the Cook Islands out of the legal reach of Kirk Henry and
Dawson knowingly made the secreted asset
transfer while Rick Rizzolo's story was front page news including numerous
stories about his obligation to pay Henry and the IRS. Shortly after John
Dawson transferred the assets off shore, Dawson's brother the Federal Judge
handed down suspiciously
light sentences to 15 Crazy Horse Too employees against the advice
of the U.S. Attorney, and without disclosing that his brother was busy
hiding Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's assets.
A very clever Motion was then filed on
October 28, 2010 by attorneys for Lisa Rizzolo asking that the court force
Kirk Henry to sue Judge Dawson's brother for allegedly being in total
control of the Rizzolo's hidden assets, or if they refused, that the Henry's
case be dismissed in its entirety. Lisa's Motion erroneously claimed that
Dawson somehow had autonomous control over the Rizzolo's off shore assets,
that he was their "Protector,"
and the Federal Court had no jurisdiction over his actions.
However, on July 21, 2011, Judge Pro filed
an ORDER DENYING Lisa Rizzolo's Motion, ending a nine month stalemate and
opening the door to hand down harsher than asked for sentences to Rick
Rizzolo, while ordering that the couple's off shore assets be immediately
repatriated to the United States.
Pro's ORDER states: "As Plaintiffs allege Defendants Lisa and Rick
Rizzolo orchestrated various fraudulent transfers between themselves, the
fact that they may have used the services of attorneys and accountants
to facilitate those transfers does not make the attorneys and accountants
necessary parties where Plaintiffs seek no relief from these persons who
acted as Defendantsí agents or were mere conduits for the transfers."
"...Lisa and Rick Rizzolo adequately represent
the trustsí interests, and the Court can afford complete relief as it can
compel Lisa and Rick Rizzolo, as owners and beneficiaries of the trusts,
to repatriate assets to the United States."
"Further, the courts and the public have
an interest in the complete, consistent, and efficient settlement of controversies,
which would be frustrated if a defendant could defeat a fraudulent joinder
action by moving fraudulently conveyed assets to an offshore trust administered
by a trustee not subject to jurisdiction in United States courts, and then
claim that failure to join the trustee mandates dismissal under Rule 19."
After his release from prison in April
2008, Rick resumed his lavish lifestyle including compulsive gambling and
in Vegas' most exclusive clubs, while refusing to pay any of his court
ordered debts. His behavior resulted in last Wednesday's revocation of
parole and his re-imprisonment along with these new conditions:
Special Condition number 7 is expected
to hit Rick especially hard considering the following description of his
behavior during one of his many gambling binges.
"He marches into the casino surrounded
by eye candy. The bosses only let males deal to him because of his foul
language. After usually losing up to $350,000 per night, he makes a scene
screaming obscenities. If he wins, he throws thousands of dollars at the
dealers and bosses. What a nut!"
These are the words of a local dealer who
says he often dealt to Rizzolo (shown in photo with Rocco Lombardo, brother
"The clown" Lombardo) in the days when the Crazy Horse Too was Rizzolo's
personal cash cow.
A visitor to Rizzolo's lavish private office
at the Crazy Horse Too provided INSIDE VEGAS with this eyewitness description
of where Rick spent most of his time:
"You are greeted by framed prints of famous
gangster movies (Casino, Goodfellows, etc.) Upon entry, the visitor is
treated to a virtual 'shrine' of organized crime memorabilia and mob photos.
A 'limited edition' Leroy Neiman painting of Al Capone sits directly behind
the 'original' barber's chair that Al Capone used in his office in the
south side Chicago hotel he used as his headquarters. To the side of his
desk, your host proudly displays (angled nicely for the visitor to see)
a framed 8 by 10 photograph of his 'rabbi' Joey Cusamano. Scattered
around the banquet size office are additional posters from some of his
favorite gangster movies (the Godfather, Little Caesar and others). If
the guest is fortunate enough to be invited to escort his host around the
topless club the first time of the night, when he enters the room, he can
witness every single floor man he comes in contact with, come up to the
Boss and respectfully kiss his cheek. If you wanted to be a soldier for
this leader, what would you do when some customer has the nerve to refuse
to pay tribute to your leader's sanctuary or one of his 'broads?' I'm only
surprised that they don't wear spats with their tuxedos and brass knuckles."
Rizzolo's lawyers have bragged that he
made a profit of $5
million to $6 million a year from the Las Vegas Crazy Horse Too. Rizzolo
himself has bragged it was more like $10
But now after the July 20, 2011 ruling
by Judge Pro that Rizzolo can no longer gamble until the end of his extended
supervised release in June 2014, he may be inclined to clean out his alleged
casino cage safety deposit boxes.
Anyone who has lived in Vegas more than
a year knows how protective our casinos are of their "whales,"
especially when it comes to revealing safe deposit box usage. Rizzolo reportedly
had/has a one million dollar line of credit in several Strip casinos. Therefore,
Kirk Henry's attorneys in March 2010 issued subpoenas (example below) to
several of Rizzolo's favorite Sin City haunts hoping to locate hidden cash.
Though the depositions are sealed, many
believe the casinos revealed enough evidence to encourage Judge Pro to
issue his ruling that bans Rizzolo from continuing to gamble away cash
rightfully owed to Henry, the IRS, and others.
If he still has cash hidden in one or more
local casino cages, Rizzolo is expected to try to retrieve it in the next
seven weeks before he's required to surrender to United States Marshals
to begin his renewed prison sentence. Or he may just let it sit there until
his release from prison in May 2012. Either way, several casino bosses
are probably having cold sweats right about now thinking of ways to protect
a whale who could well be back at their tables sometime in 2012, unless
the Nevada Gaming Commission enforces NRS 463.151 following his release
from prison, and holds a hearing to induct Rizzolo into the infamous Black
Book of persons excluded from Nevada casinos.
According to these two provisions of the
NRS, he certainly qualifies for Black Book inclusion:
requiring exclusion or ejection of certain persons from licensed
establishments: Persons included:
evasion of fees or taxes; (c) Notorious
or unsavory reputation which would adversely affect public confidence
and trust that the gaming industry is free from criminal or corruptive
Last Wednesday's sentencing hearing in
Federal Court was unusually solemn. Rizzolo sat at the Defendant's table
wearing his $30,000 Rolex, chewing gum and nervously laughing. His attorneys
Dominic Gentile and Margaret Lambrose sat beside him, never admonishing
his gum chewing, slouching posture, or giggling. At the Prosecutor's table
were Assistant United States Attorney Eric Johnson and Rizzolo's parole
officer Eric Christiansen. At another table sat Henry's attorneys Don Campbell,
Stan Hunterton, and Phil Erwin. Sitting in the lonely gallery was a single
IRS fraud investigator arduously taking notes, several newspaper reporters,
a half dozen UNLV law students and a bailiff. Otherwise, Rizzolo's loyal
spiritual advisor Father
Dave Casaleggio was nowhere to be seen, as was Rizzolo's defense financier
Doumani, both familiar faces at their friend's previous trials and
one moment in the three hour proceedings, smiles broke out on several faces
when Judge Pro issued an ORDER giving Kirk Henry priority over the IRS
regarding the seizure of a secret $3 million dollars the Rizzolos were
to receive from the sale of the Philadelphia Crazy Horse Too. Henry's attorneys
discovered the money during a deposition of Rizzolo's business partner
Piazza, father of baseball legend Mike Piazza.
The ruling will finally bring some relief
to the Henrys who for over nine years have had to pay their own medical
bills for the full time care Kirk needs after being rendered a quadriplegic
from the beating he received in front of the Crazy Horse Too in October
The money will also go toward paying college
tuition for the Henry's two children who have become young adults during
the nine years their father's lawsuit has taken -- so far -- to find some
semblance of justice.
|Full docket text for document 459:
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS - Sentencing Re Revocation of Supervised Release
as to Frederick John Rizzolo held on 7/20/2011 before Judge Philip M. Pro.
Crtrm Administrator: Donna Sherwood; AUSA: Eric Johnson; Counsel for Amy
& Kirk Henry: C. Stanley Hunterton, Donald Campbell, Philip Erwin;
Def Counsel: Dominic Gentile, Margaret Lambrose; USPO: Eric Christiansen;
Court Reporter/FTR #: Joan Quiros; Time of Hearing: 9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.;
Courtroom: 7C; Defendant is present. ORDERED Defendant's Motion for Leave
to Permit Defendant to Negotiate an Offer in Compromise with the Internal
Revenue Service  is granted in part and denied in part as stated on
the record. Consistent with the Court's Order
entered on 10/15/2008, the Court finds Amy & Kirk Henry have priority
over the Internal Revenue Service as to the payments from the Piazza Partnership
due to Lions. Defendant Rizzolo shall arrange for payments from the Piazza
Partnership due to Lions to be paid to Amy & Kirk Henry and Defendant
Rizzolo shall not take any action, directly or indirectly or through any
agents or anyone else acting on his behalf, to hinder the payments of those
monies to Amy & Kirk Henry in partial satisfaction of restitution obligations
to them. The Court hears the arguments of counsel as to sentencing.
The Court finds the defendant has violated special conditions 3, 4 and
6 of his supervised release. ORDERED supervised release is revoked. Sentence
is imposed. (See separate Judgment.) FURTHER ORDERED defendant shall self-surrender
to the facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons on 9/14/2011. On motion
of Mr. Hunterton, IT IS ORDERED the money in the
Bank of America Account in Philadelphia shall be turned over to the Henrys
forthwith. Counsel shall submit a proposed Order for the Court's
signature. (Deadline to return exhibits set for 12/21/2011.) (Copies have
been distributed pursuant to the NEF - DMS)
This story began back in 1993 when Rick
Rizzolo's then-landlord Jim Schiff approached Buffalo Jim Barrier, the
next door neighbor of the Las Vegas Crazy Horse Too, and ask if he would
meet with Rizzolo to discuss a buy out of his long time auto repair business'
lease in order to use the garage's space for an expansion of the topless
Barrier, now deceased, described the meeting
to INSIDE VEGAS.
"Jim and Rick walked into my office and
sat down. Rick lit up a smoke (Barrier did not allow smoking in his business)
and sat there while Jim asked me how much I would need to move to a new
location. I told them around half a million in order to pay for the move,
the down time, and to pay increased rent for the remaining 8 years on my
present lease that cost me only thirty-eight cents a square foot. I said
a similar location on Industrial Road costs $1.40 a foot, and I would have
to make up the difference in the rent to break even. Jim asked Rick if
that was OK. Rick said he wouldn't pay me a cent to move out. He got up,
put his cigarette out on my carpet, and left. The next day, the tires were
slashed on all my customer's cars."
That meeting started a feud that would
become a part of Vegas history!
Regarding the meeting, Rizzolo was quoted
in the Las
Vegas Mercury saying, "Buffalo Jim is full of shit! Somebody filled
his head with the idea that I'm going to pay upwards of a million dollars
for his lease, but that's ludicrous. I'm not the least bit interested in
his space. I don't need it. I haven't talked to him whatsoever."
During the next few years, Barrier, a colorful
former pro wrestler, would not budge an inch to make way for Rizzolo's
expansion, and Rizzolo tried every illicit trick in the book to intimidate
him. But it was Barrier's customers who suffered the blunt of Rizzolo's
actions with keyed paint, illegal tows, etc.
AmericanMafia.com photos by Buffalo Jim Barrier
At one point, Rizzolo proved he had someone
at City Hall on his payroll when the City of Las Vegas began patrolling
the privately owned strip club's parking lot on an hourly basis to ticket
only Barrier's customer's cars, then Rizzolo would call to have the ticketed
cars towed away. Rizzolo's friends at the City also placed "Fire
Lane" signs around Barrier's business so no customer's cars could park
nearby (The "Fire Lane" was used as a Crazy Horse Too valet parking area
at night.) Barrier went on TV news and called Rizzolo's actions "chicken
shit." Then he challenged Rizzolo to a wrestling match. The winner would
get to keep his lease while the loser would have to move. Rizzolo declined.
Several months later, to Rizzolo's dismay, Barrier was voted "Las
Vegas Most Colorful Character" by the readers of the Review-Journal,
and began being paid to appear in Toyota television commercials.
on Rizzolo's harassment, Barrier went to court and won, several times,
and Rizzolo was forced to reimburse him for his losses again and again.
This inspired Rizzolo to ask the advice
of his attorneys Dean Patti and Tony Sgro. They mis-advised him to buy
the shopping center where his and Barrier's businesses were co-located,
saying he could immediately evict Barrier and move into his space if he
was the landlord.
Rizzolo bought the property from Jim Schiff's
widow for $5 million dollars, and Patti and Sgro promptly filed an eviction
notice against Barrier. Barrier's attorney
Gus Flangas went to court, and the judge ruled in Barrier's favor saying
that his lease was valid for the years remaining, and it automatically
transferred to any new owners. Rizzolo walked out of court embarrassed,
and lost over two million dollars by taking his lawyer's advice and paying
40% more than the property was worth at the time. (The Crazy Horse Too
property sold on July 1, 2011 for $3 million dollars to a California
Undaunted, Rizzolo waited for the next
summer when the valley temperature reached 110 degrees. To encourage Barrier
to leave, Rizzolo repeatedly had Barrier's air conditioners sabotaged.
Barrier installed cameras on the roof of his garage, and the tampering
In October 2001, Barrier photographed Kirk
Henry lying crippled in front of the topless bar. He shared his photos
with the local and national news media. After the story broke, Tony Sgro
tried to say Henry arrived at the bar with his neck already broken, but
Barrier's time stamped photos proved otherwise. The photos were used by
News in national stories about the years
of brutality at Rizzolo's bar, brutality that was becoming a concern
to the FBI.
Barrier photographed dozens more of Rizzolo's
victims as they lay in the parking lot, or tried to walk away after being
beaten and robbed. He shared his photos with the FBI, and on February 24,
2003, partly based on information Barrier supplied, 80 special agents of
the FBI and DEA raided
the Crazy Horse Too.
Barrier became a government informant.
Rick Rizzolo and his father Bart became more obsessed with Barrier each
day, and began making foolish mistakes. The feds discovered wire taps and
hidden microphones in Barrier's garage and office. The wires led directly
to Rizzolo's office a hundred feet away.
Buffalo Jim became my most reliable source,
and dozens of INSIDE VEGAS columns (linked to below) were based on the
highly reliable information he provided.
On November 26, 2007, Rick's late father
Bart Rizzolo tried to run Barrier over in the parking lot in front of the
Crazy Horse Too. Barrier went back to court and was issued a well publicized
Order that humiliated Bart, and prohibited him from stepping foot on
his own family's property for the next 30 days. When the first Restraining
Order expired, the judge issued a second one over the protests of Bart's
attorney Dominc Gentile.
At midnight, June 30, 2007, the Crazy Horse
Too was finally shut
down. Jim Barrier was credited with its demise. Rick Rizzolo was in
prison at the time.
It makes one wonder what Rizzolo's associates
in the Bonanno crime family must think of his killing the goose that laid
the golden eggs, and whether Rick will be safe during his second prison
Some say that all the problems the Rizzolos
have encountered could have been prevented back in 1993 if Rick simply
took one week's worth of his gambling losses and invested it helping Buffalo
Jim move down the street.
The day after Rick Rizzolo's April 4, 2008
release from prison, Buffalo Jim Barrier was found dead in a Boulder Highway
motel room. On the day of his death, Barrier reported receiving an anonymous
letter warning him there would be an attempt on his life.
LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE OF RICK RIZZOLO'S
JULY 20, 2011 SENTENCING:
Vegas Review-Journal VIDEO
STORIES ABOUT BUFFALO JIM BARRIER'S
STRUGGLE TO STAY IN BUSINESS, AND HIS UNTIMELY DEATH
TO "THE GHOST OF BUFFALO JIM"