Be Careful What
You might just get it!
Now, more than ever, it
looks like Rizzolo's asking
price of $35 - 40 million is hugely inflated, and is
based on what the club skims --
VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 3, 2006
"It makes so much money, I wouldn't do
something stupid to jeopardize it."
Feb. 2003, LV Review Journal
years later, Rizzolo did something stupid that jeopardized his
business and now he's going to prison!"- Buffalo
Jim Barrier, July, 2006
LAS VEGAS - It's ironic
that Crazy Horse Too strip club owner and convicted felon Rick
, the person who once tried to use the power of eminent
rid himself of a next door nemesis, is now the victim of a decline in
property's value because eminent domain is threatening to take the main
entrance of his club for a road widening.
Though the original
threat sounded more like a political favor to get rid of a pesky
neighbor, the city
of Public Works and the state Department of Transportation
(NDOT) may have inadvertently been forced to delay the eminent domain
seizure because of clever legal
maneuvers by the pesky neighbor's attorney.
Now the mere mention of eminent domain seriously devalues Rizzolo's
asking price, something he probably never anticipated.
the City of Las Vegas Dept. of Public Works
(Red annotations and yellow highlights by Steve Miller)
2003, before he and his corporation were convicted of multiple felonies,
distributed City of Las Vegas Department of
Public Works Revised Design Drawings showing a custom designed street
enhancement that would, at taxpayer expense, provide a 50 foot wide
curved driveway into what would have been a new Crazy Horse Too
drawing conveniently placed a sidewalk directly through Allstate Auto,
owned by Buffalo Jim Barrier. This caused speculation that someone in
Dept. of Public Works was aiding and abetting Rizzolo in getting rid of
his arch nemesis.
This was not a far fetched scheme at the time because Rizzolo was secretly
paying his City Hall stooge, then-councilman Mike McDonald, $5,000
per month as a "consulting fee," and the
mayor had once accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees
Rizzolo after he pleaded guilty to beating a man almost to death
with a baseball bat. Also there's the fact that LV Mayor Oscar
Goodman's law partner David
Chesnoff represents Vinny Faraci, one of Rizzolo's managers who has
the country. In other words, plenty of past and present legal fees
may be greasing the skids at City Hall.
Now that Rizzolo has pleaded
guilty to tax evasion, and his closely held corporation, the Power Company,
pleaded guilty to tax evasion and
participate in an enterprise engaged in racketeering activity, he's been
Philip Pro to sell his club within
one year (with a sixty day extension if needed);
million in fines and forfeiture and $1.7 million to settle tax
liability; and pay beating victim Kirk Henry $10 million.
In the meantime, the
judge is amazingly allowing Rizzolo's father, brother, and sister to
run the club
long enough to raise the money even though they were also involved in
the skimming and racketeering.
During the next year and two months, it needs to be
disclosed to all potential buyers that the road widening could still
and if it does, it will severely affect the value of the property. This
probably is the reason
prior to being indicted, Rizzolo unveiled an artist's
of a totally new building he wanted to build at the back of his
Of course, if this building were to be built, the expense of purchasing
the old structure and tearing it down would be wasted, thereby
rendering moot the $35 - 40 million
Rizzolo is asking for the existing Crazy Horse Too.
Photo of existing structure with
emergency vehicles responding to patron who disputed his tab
(AmericanMafia.com photo by Buffalo Jim Barrier used on Dateline NBC)
The estimated cost of the new structure shown on the
Crazy Horse web
is around $30 million. If someone were to buy the land and
existing building at Rizzolo's asking price, they could be faced with
enough city generated problems to make them regret their purchase. Any
potential buyer, once informed, would probably be better off purchasing
one of several nearby
clubs that are not facing threat of eminent domain.
I've been told that Cheetahs
located a quarter mile away -- a club that
reported making $6.5 million in 2004 -- is available for $25 million,
and is not threatened by eminent domain. But I don't think Judge Pro
knew all this when he accepted Rizzolo's guilty plea and put his
family in position to ostensibly continue the skimmming and
racketeering -- exactly what they pleaded guilty to through a
corporation of which they are the only stockholders.
Therefore, I predict that beating victim Kirk
and the IRS will be waiting a
long long time for their money, and that the Rizzolos will be
operating the Crazy Horse years after their one-year and sixty day
extension has expired. This could happen if the Feds and Judge
Pro don't immediately place a receiver in the club and throw out
Rizzolo's relatives and goons, along with placing garnishments and
attachments on all of Rizzolo's personal assets and real estate
including those he recently transferred to his ex-wife to avoid
Ironically, Buffalo Jim Barrier may have made this prolonged agony
possible by discouraging the city from taking Rizzolo's property for
the widening of Industrial Road. More on this later.
The city's delayed eminent domain plan slices 50 feet from the front of
Rizzolo's property. The draconian Design Drawing shows a custom
) and a new signalized left turn lane (C
) into the entrance of the
not-yet-approved "Gentleman's Club." (Yellow
highlights on the Design Drawing emphasize the city's proposed driveway
conveniently cutting through Barrier's garage.) Keep in mind that this
drawing was generated at taxpayer expense. That takes juice, especially
when its intended to destroy an enemy's long time place of business as
a favor to
a friend by a beholden councilman and mayor.
However, in previous NDOT design drawings, the road was only to be
widened by 28 feet making the construction of a new Crazy Horse
building, and the eminent domain taking of
Allstate Auto, unnecessary. The state plan would still greatly
inconvenience Rizzolo by forcing him to move his main entrance to the
at the rear
of the existing building, while virtually leaving Barrier unscathed by
only three parking spaces from the front of his garage. That obviously
displeased Rizzolo who didn't plan on staying
much longer in his dilapidated building and needed to get rid of
make his new club possible. Instead of offering to buy out Barrier
apparently asked for help from his friends at City Hall, a move that
peaked the interest of the FBI.
Prior to the city's Design Drawings being made public, the Las
reported, "Rizzolo says a street-widening
project that's slated to get rolling in the next few years will render
the whole conflict moot, as Barrier will have to negotiate with the
state Department of Transportation and Rizzolo will raze the whole
shopping center--including Crazy Horse Too and Buffalo Jim's auto
marine shop--and build a new 60,000-square-foot gentlemen's club."
Rizzolo said this three weeks before the city's Design Drawings were
public, so he obviously had advance knowledge of the scope
of the city's taxpayer funded project -- a project that looked to be
designed to fulfill his wish of removing Barrier at public
expense to make way for his new building.
When Gus Flangas*
, attorney for Barrier, first saw the
back in 2003,
he subpoenaed city Public Works Director Dick Goecke, and
NDOT 's Tony Letizia, the Transportation Department's program
development manager in Southern Nevada.
At their depositions, Flangas asked Tony
about his cousin Tom
who handles the advertising for the Crazy Horse, and is
Mayor Goodman's campaign
, fund raiser, and advisor. Flangas inquired whether Tony
had been influenced in any way to help his cousin's two clients?
also asked Goecke if he had been ordered by Mayor Goodman or
to design the driveway in such a way as to
ruin Barrier's business? Both denied the allegations, but must have
gotten the hint.
By the fact that Letizia and Goecke were the only public officials
deposed, it was made clear that if
Barrier is somehow removed by the city to make way for the expansion
of a topless bar, he's going to sue those
public officials who he considers co-conspirators to put him out of
business. According to Nevada legal precedent, former and present
public officials can be named as defendants in their individual
civil suits, and have to pay their own legal fees.
Coincidentally, since the road widening didn't take place as scheduled,
this gives the old Crazy Horse a chance to stay in business for at
least another year -- possibly long enough to find an uninformed buyer,
and long enough for the Rizzolos to continue skimming right under the
eyes of the Feds and Judge Pro.
is the irony I mentioned earlier.
But that's not all that devalues the Crazy Horse Too. There was a
mysterious shooting last February that allegedly involved a club
bouncer and a
patron. That occurrence went unreported by the LV Metro Police though
there was police crime scene tape all over the front entrance of the
club immediately following the incident. Another clue that major juice
may be at play, and one of the possible reasons our good Sheriff, Bill
, is not seeking reelection to a second term. His department
is sprinkled with a dozen or more crooked cops who have accepted
Rizzolo's monetary largesse, or sexual favors to protect his illegal
In the meantime, the city has finally been embarrassed
into bringing the Crazy Horse up on
a long-avoided license
(an action that Mayor Goodman should recuse from
because of his blatant conflict of interest). If after the hearing, the
city irresponsibly allows the club
to stay open in spite of Rizzolo's racketeering and tax evasion
the beatings and killings,
our mayor and council may expose the taxpayers to liability in the
likely event another bar patron is beaten or killed -- old habits die
The Rizzolos have proven time and again they're not legitimate business
people. The family and their thugs only know how to make money by
beating, extorting, or drugging patrons who refuse to pay inflated
tabs; offering fellatio in the VIP room; and paying off a few crooked
politicians, the District
, and mayor who keeps his
Business License Manager Jim
DiFiori at bay allowing
his former client to stay in business at the expense of our tourist's
safety and town's reputation.
But there's much more to this sordid story.
Rizzolo's corporate tax returns and his public comments don't jive.
The Las Vegas SUN
reported on May
21, 2006, "In a deposition that Rizzolo gave in the (Kirk) Henry case
in July 2005, he said the club grossed $800,000 to $1 million a month,
which translates to annual gross sales of $9.6 million to $12 million."
However his 2003 and 2004 tax returns tell a far different story.
The Crazy Horse made $6.08 million in 2003 (per their tax returns)
and $3.6 million in 2004, showing a major decline in business following
national news of Henry's beating, or that's what Rizzolo wants the IRS
In contrast, during those same years, Rizzolo continued his million
dollar gambling addiction and kept bragging about all the money he was
making -- if true, much more than he reported to the IRS. In
February 2003, he told the LV
that his club
makes more than $10 million a year. "It makes so much money, I wouldn't
do something stupid to jeopardize it."
Rick Rizzolo doesn't seem to realize that his
bragging revealed what will probably continue to be a
-- the only way his family knows how to do business, and something his
family can continue while he's in prison. Judge Pro should have taken
this probability more seriously. Now, more than ever, it
looks like Rizzolo's asking price of $35 - 40 million is hugely
inflated, and is based on what the club skims --
It continues to amaze me that the Federal Government is letting him get
away with this scam, and that the City of Las Vegas has not shut the
bloody place down. But when the dust settles, it may be Rizzolo's own
bragging, and wish that eminent domain rids him of his nemesis, that
comes back to
wipe him out financially.
Steve Miller is a consultant for the
Flangas McMillan Law Group.