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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:

Rick Rizzolo Stalls U.S. Federal Court
Indefinitely avoids paying IRS, City of Las Vegas, FDIC, and Kirk Henry


INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
August 16, 2010

LAS VEGAS - Former computer software salesman Kirk Henry has endured almost a decade of waiting to be paid $10 million dollars restitution after his neck was broken in September 2001 for disputing an $88 bar tab at Rick Rizzolo's then-topless bar the infamous Crazy Horse Too.

Part of the reason Henry continues to wait is a clever series of legal maneuvers created by Rizzolo's legal team to stall the case until Henry dies of his injuries, or reporters tire of covering the ad nauseam details of a federal case that seems to have no end.

Rizzolo plea bargained in 2005 for an abbreviated one year federal prison sentence in exchange for his agreement to pay Henry $10 million dollars, and pay over $18 million in other court ordered debts including $6 million in taxes, interest, and penalties, a $2.3 million dollar fine levied by the City of Las Vegas, and an unpaid $5 million loan now owed to the FDIC.

Rizzolo welched on his plea agreement, and each year that the debts remain unpaid, penalties and interest accrue. Meanwhile, it appears Rizzolo is living the good life.

According to a January 23, 2007 News Release issued by United States Attorney Daniel Bogden: "The Court also took important steps toward ensuring Kirk Henry and his family received through our justice system, the restitution they need to cope and deal with the brutal and tragic attack Crazy Horse Too employees inflicted upon Kirk Henry in September 2001. In rendering its sentence, the Court took particular care to note in the context of its 26 years on the Nevada federal bench, the 'enormity' of the financial responsibilities defendants assumed as part of their sentences as negotiated by our office as part of their plea agreements."

Since Bogden's News Release boasting how the court "ensured" that Henry would receive restitution during his lifetime, Rizzolo and his legal team have made a mockery of Bogden and the federal court system while forcing Kirk Henry and his family to endure seemingly endless major financial hardships.

And the judge Bogden referred to as having 26 years on the Nevada federal bench, Philip Pro, has been rendered legally impotent by Rizzolo's subsequent actions.

Three and one half years after Bogden's statement about "... the 'enormity' of the financial responsibilities defendants assumed as part of their sentences as negotiated by our office as part of their plea agreements," Rizzolo is out of prison years early, and no one including Henry has been paid one dime, while a half dozen local attorneys make a fortune off a man who claims to be broke!

Anticipating asset seizures, Rizzolo and his wife Lisa in 2005 -- one month before he began plea negotiations -- staged a "sham" divorce with the help of a friendly family court judge, then with the help of the brother of a federal judge transferred all their liquid assets off shore and out of the reach of creditors.

Shortly thereafter, an overly friendly Nevada state judge stopped Henry in his tracks erroneously ruling that Henry could not investigate the Rizzolo's hidden assets now stashed in the Cook Islands.

Henry appealed the ruling in United States Federal Court.

Soon thereafter, U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley upheld the lower court ruling.

Henry appealed Foley's ruling to Federal Judge Philip Pro who OVERRULED Foley, and opened the way for Henry to conduct the long delayed DISCOVERY.

Then Rick Rizzolo pretended to be broke and supposedly fired his original attorneys Dean Patti and Tony Sgro after his personal financial records were purportedly destroyed in a "flood" at their law office.

The "flood" claim stalled the case for months while attorneys for both sides filed motions and responses. Patti and Sgro continued to appear on behalf of Rizzolo claiming they were doing so pro bono, but most people in Sin City know Rick Rizzolo is a cash and carry type guy.

This ploy further stalled the case for an additional ten months.

Henry's attorneys smelled a rat, and asked the court to force Rizzolo to pay them for their time fighting Rizzolo's stalling tactics that were now becoming more than obvious.

Judge Foley agreed with Henry's attorneys and slapped Rizzolo with a questionably low $5,000 bill for their services.

Full docket text for document 287:
JUDGMENT Filed and Entered on 02/22/2010 Attorney Fees in the amount of $5,000 for the plaintiffs. Signed by Lance S. Wilson. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - AXM)

On March 22, 2010 Rizzolo's attorneys APPEALED Judge Foley's JUDGMENT to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Local attorneys estimate that Rizzolo's legal team charged him over ten thousand dollars to APPEAL Judge Foley's $5,000 JUDGMENT.

Full docket text for document 333:
NOTICE OF APPEAL Filed and Entered on 03/22/2010 as to [286] Order on Motion for Attorney Fees, [287] Judgment on Attorney Fees by Defendants RLR Trust, Fredrick Rizzolo, The Rick J. Rizzolo Separate Property Trust, The Rick and Lisa Rizzolo Family Trust. Filing fee $ 455, receipt number 0978-1555704. E-mail notice (NEF) sent to the US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. (Frizzell, III, Kenneth)

On Friday, August 12, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court DISMISSED Rizzolo's APPEAL.

Full docket text for document 438:
ORDER of USCA, Ninth Circuit Filed and Entered on 08/12/2010 DISMISSING [333] Notice of Appeal, filed by The Rick and Lisa Rizzolo Family Trust, RLR Trust, The Rick J. Rizzolo Separate Property Trust, Fredrick Rizzolo. (EDS)

Immediately following the Ninth Circuit Court DISMISSAL, Henry's attorneys filed a MOTION with Judge Foley for the release of the $5,000 that had been held in the court's escrow account pending the Ninth Circuit's ruling.

Full docket text for document 440:
MOTION for Release of Funds Filed and Entered on 08/13/2010 Ex Parte Application for Release of Supersedeas Bond by Plaintiff Kirk Henry. Motion ripe 8/13/2010. (Rulis, Nathanael)

It will now be up to Judge Foley to order Rizzolo to pay the measly $5,000; pocket change for the former topless bar owner. The fact that he must be forced to pay Kirk Henry's attorneys for their inconvenience is a clear example of Rizzolo's repeated refusal to abide by his plea agreement.

Meanwhile, a very reliable source tells INSIDE VEGAS that Rizzolo is working for cash as a manager at the Palomino Club in North Las Vegas.

If this rumor is true, Rizzolo is in ridicule of U.S. Attorney Bogden who stated: "As part of Rizzolo’s conditions of supervised release and pursuant to his plea agreement, Rizzolo is not permitted to own or operate or have any involvement with any strip clubs or similar businesses involved in pornography or erotic entertainment or media in the United States and its territories for the rest of his life."

It's not known whether Rizzolo intends to APPEAL to the United States Supreme Court the Ninth Circuit Court's DISMISSAL of Rizzolo's APPEAL of the $5,000 JUDGMENT. This would be his last option (unless Judge Foley can be convinced to reverse his ruling, or Judge Pro reverses if for him) and going to the U.S. Supreme Court will cost Rizzolo tens of thousands more in legal fees and court costs that he seems perfectly able to pay.

But don't hold your breath waiting for Judge Foley to impose "severe sanctions" on Rizzolo for refusing to provide answers to legitimate questions about his hidden fortune. So far this judge has been a toothless tiger, bending over backward to make sure Rizzolo is not burdened by his rulings including this latest one filed on August 10, 2010:
Case 2:08-cv-00635-PMP-GWF Document 437 Filed 08/10/10 Page 9 of 11

Defendant Rick Rizzolo’s discovery responses in December 2008 and April 2009 regarding his interests in testamentary or inter vivos trusts were clearly deceptive (emphasis added). At the time of these responses, Mr. Rizzolo must have known of the existence of the RLR Trust and that he had transferred $990,000 into the RLR Trust’s bank account in April 2008, which shortly thereafter was withdrawn at his request to pay his attorneys fees, to repay loans from Lisa Rizzolo and her trust, to repay a loan from his father, and to cover Mr. Rizzolo’s living expenses. Rule 37(b) does not authorize entry of a default judgment solely because a party has given false or deceptive answers to interrogatories. The rule, instead, authorizes the imposition of severe sanctions where the party’s violation of discovery orders prejudices the opposing party’s ability to proceed to trial and threatens the rightful decision of the case.

3. Defendant Rick Rizzolo is ordered to pay $1,000.00 to Plaintiffs, as and for reasonable attorneys fees on the motion for sanctions, based on his failure to comply with the Court’s order requiring him to produce a complete copy of the RLR Trust’s bank account statements. Continued failure to comply with this portion of the Court’s order will result in imposition of more severe sanctions, which could include granting Plaintiffs’ request for entry of a default judgment.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the discovery deadline in this case is extended until October 8, 2010 for purposes of permitting Plaintiffs to take Mr. Rizzolo’s deposition.

DATED this 10th day of August, 2010.


If the above discovery deadline extension and $1,000 sanction against Rizzolo by Judge Foley is any indication of how the court is getting tough on the convicted racketeer, it's no wonder Rizzolo thumbs his nose at U.S. Attorney Bogden and the entire federal court system!

With this flacid ruling, Rick Rizzolo now owes Kirk Henry's attorneys a total of only $6,000 which is chump change for a guy with a million dollar line of credit in several Strip hotel casinos, and someone who absolutely has no intention of honoring the court's orders no matter what empty sanctions or default judgments this judge threatens.

In contrast, Judge Foley threw the book at a paralegal Rizzolo hired to ghost write dozens of court documents Rizzolo signed as his own. Some think this was Judge Foley's way of trying to appear tough on crime while giving Rizzolo every legal break he could come up with.

To have paid over twice what he was originally ordered to pay in legal fees in an effort to deprive Henry's attorneys of a fraction of what they're owed shows the greed by which Rizzolo has operated throughout his life, and is a perfect example of the legal stalling this case has endured since it was first filed in October 2001.

It was earlier estimated that the trial would take place sometime in September 2010, but that date was never ratified. At this time, there is no  date listed for the long awaited jury trial to determine if Rick and Lisa Rizzolo will be ordered to repatriate the money they stashed in the Cook Islands to pay their court ordered debts. (The Rizzolos were married at the time of Henry's beating and when the other court ordered debts were incurred, and Nevada is a community property state.)

Another tactic used by Rizzolo to prevent a trial is his numerous hiring and firing of attorneys. After purportedly terminating his original legal defense team, Rizzolo stalled his case ten months by pretending to be his own attorney. At the time he fraudulently plead "I can't even afford a new attorney:"
                 Dominic Gentile                                    Paola Armeni

When the court questioned his poverty, Rizzolo surprised everyone by hiring one of the most expensive law firms in town, Gordon and Silver, and formed a new legal team consisting of veteran criminal defense attorney Dominic Gentile and his associate Paola Armeni.

With each new attorney hired, the trial was postponed so incoming counsel could review the extensive files. Meanwhile, Kirk Henry, the citizens of Las Vegas, and the IRS wait and wait and wait.

Its not yet been determined where Rizzolo is getting the funds to pay his expensive new "Dream Team," but one thing's for sure, this protracted case completely proves that "Justice delayed is justice denied."

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