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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:

Racketeer shows his outward contempt
for Federal Court, a beating victim,
and Internal Revenue Service

Rick Rizzolo and his ex-wife Lisa hide their ill-gotten
assets from a paralyzed man and creditors
while daring the IRS to take action

And then there's "Spud & Sgro?"


INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
September 14, 2009

LAS VEGAS - Since February 2009, convicted Racketeer Rick Rizzolo claimed to be without the funds to pay an attorney to defend him in an attempted murder lawsuit brought by beating victim Kirk Henry.

On July 9, he became his own Pro Se attorney and filed a Motion in United States Federal Court stating: "Court submissions by pro se litigants' are to be construed liberally and held to less stringent standards than the submissions of the lawyers in opposition, being provided wide latitude, including but not limited to, unfamiliarity with rule requirements."

Soon after filing his first Pro Se Motion, Rizzolo began taking advantage of his new status knowing a Pro Se litigant can communicate directly with the court through his personally written court filings that automatically become part of the case record and are read by judges prior to hearings. He also knew that this can happen after the date document filing closes for opposing attorneys thereby giving him an unfair advantage.

Between July 9, and August 5, 2009, Rizzolo filed eleven Pro Se Motions. On August 5, Federal Judge Philip Pro responded by scheduling a hearing for Tuesday, September 15, to hear arguments.

Full docket text for document 163:
MINUTE ORDER IN CHAMBERS of the Honorable Judge Philip M. Pro, on 8/5/2009. By Deputy Clerk: Donna Andrews. At the Motion Hearing set for 9/15/2009 at 10:30 AM, the Court will hear argument on the following additional motions: [153] Defendants' Objection to the Court's Order (#151) Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Enlargement of Time; Defendants' Motion for Hearing to Stay Discovery Pending Decision on Dispostive Motions or Certification of Questions of Law to the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada; [160] Defendants' Notice of Plaintiffs' Failure to Join Indispensable Parties and Defendants; [161] Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint, Objection and Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint, First Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment; Second Alternative Motion to Certify Questions of Law to the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada.(Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - DMA)

Following the issuance of Judge Pro's Order (above), Rizzolo filed an additional five Pro Se Motions totaling sixteen in ninety days. They included two Motions to reschedule the depositions of Henry's attorneys; a Motion to remand the case back to state court for resolution (Rizzolo has friends who owe him favors on the Nevada Supreme Court and Clark County District Court); and a Motion demanding that Hunterton and Campbell be disqualified.

This forced the attorneys for the Plaintiff to file answers and extensions of time thereby creating excessive legal fees and stalling the case -- something many court observers feel was Rizzolo's full intention by becoming a Pro Se litigant.

Don Campbell and Stan Hunterton are both former Federal Prosecutors. Now they're in private practice and represent unpaid beating victim Henry who is owed $9 million dollars from Rizzolo in exchange for a plea agreement that got the former topless bar owner off with a light federal prison sentence.

Henry's neck was broken in 2001 by a Rizzolo employee over a disputed $88 bar tab.

In addition to paying Henry, Rizzolo agreed to pay the IRS in excess of $5 million in back taxes, penalties, and interest to get off with only a year behind bars.

While he was locked up, Rizzolo's ex-wife Lisa with the help of an attorney whose brother is another Federal Court Judge with ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, mortgaged all her and her ex-husband's real estate at more than its present worth, and transferred the new found cash to a bank in the Cook Islands to avoid paying Henry, the IRS, and other creditors a total of over $27 million in court ordered debts.

Here's a list of Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's debts in order of priority according to Judge Pro:
All of the United States Marshals Service's costs, expenses, and private counsel's attorney fees for the real property transaction related to the care and the sale of the Property and the Trademark and Trade name Crazy Horse Too, including but not limited to the maintenance, the protection, the repair, the service of process, the publication, the utilities, the insurance, the CB Richard Ellis real estate commission, the escrow, the closing costs, the real estate transfer tax, private counsel's attorney fees for the real property transaction, etc.; 
The Clark County Taxes owed on the Property with penalties and interest 
The City of Las Vegas sewer lien 
The Security Pacific Bank ($5 million dollar) loan with attorneys' fees, penalties, and interest 
The restitution of US $9,000,000.00 plus interest to Kirk and Amy Henry 
The restitution of US $1,734,000.00 plus accruals to the IRS 
The assessment of US $500.00 plus interest 
The fines of US $750,000.00 plus interest 
The forfeiture of US $4,250,000.00 plus interest 
The City of Las Vegas judgment lien of US $2,192,000.00 plus interest 
The IRS tax lien against Rizzolo for the 2006 individual income taxes of US $1,032,535.26 plus accruals 

The first court documents Rizzolo said he personally authored included a Motion to Dismiss Henry's entire lawsuit. Another "commanded" Henry's attorney Stan Hunterton to appear for Deposition at one in the morning. Both documents incorrectly listed Rizzolo's home address as being in Las Vegas when it's actually in Henderson, 20 miles away.

Hunterton and Campbell immediately recognized that Rizzolo was not the author and filed a Motion requiring the Defendant to reveal the identity of his "ghost writer."

Rizzolo complied, and on September 9, 2009 approved his electronic signature being placed on a seven page court document naming ex-convict James Kimsey, alias "Spud," the person who authored his Pro Se court documents.

In explaining his ghost writer's qualifications, Rizzolo (Kimsey) quoted Shakespeare declaring "Me thinks he doth protest too much'' in regard to Kirk Henry's attorneys, and provided a letter of reference stating: "I became acquainted with James Kimsey when he was a prisoner litigator while he was incarcerated in the Nevada prison system. Mr. Kimsey was entirely self taught without the benefit of any formal legal training."

I looked a little further into Mr. Kimsey's background and found this document that includes his alias:

A little more searching found a newspaper article linking Spud to the Hells Angels.

Probably sensing blood in the water, on September 11, Rizzolo's former mob lawyer Tony Sgro filed the following NOTICE.

Full docket text for document 192:
NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Anthony P Sgro on behalf of Defendant Fredrick Rizzolo. NOTICE OF SPECIAL APPEARANCE FOR ONE HEARING (Sgro, Anthony)

It will be interesting to hear Mr. Sgro of the prestigious firm Patti & Sgro defend the veracity of Spud's sixteen Motions.

Will Sgro claim Spud is now part of his team? Or will Sgro throw Spud under the bus?

If Spud is treated with disrespect by Sgro after Spud was chosen by Rizzolo to file sixteen amazing Motions, it could possibly help Rizzolo plead insanity -- which may be his actual goal.

A veteran trial attorney with no mob ties told INSIDE VEGAS: "You can't just turn on and then turn off the Pro Se status, especially after filing sixteen sloppy Motions. I think Judge Pro is about to throw the book at Rick and Lisa Rizzolo for clogging up the system, wasting taxpayer money, and showing total disrespect for his court."

Court observers predict that Judge Pro will require Rizzolo to replace Spud with a licensed attorney, and in the event Rizzolo can somehow convince Judge Pro that he actually can't afford licensed legal representation, Judge Pro may assign a new court appointed attorney to take the place of Spud and Sgro.

However, it's also expected that Judge Pro will ask Rick Rizzolo what he did with four hundred thousand dollars Lisa Rizzolo had transferred to him from her Cook Islands account?

Many believe Spud's inclusion on the Rizzolo defense team is/was a ploy to stall progress in this case, If Judge Pro replaces Spud with a new court-paid attorney (other than Sgro), all hearings are expected to be postponed until the new attorney can be brought up to speed, and that can take months.

Plaintiff Kirk Henry has been waiting for justice since 2001 when he was rendered a quadriplegic by one of the Rizzolo's managers. Some suspect that further delay in this case is by design, and is intended to be a cruel form of "death watch" to find legal ways to stall justice until Mr. Henry passes away from his injuries.

In the meantime, Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's asset protection attorney John Dawson of Lionel Sawyer & Collins (LS&C) is suspected of being busy forming new trusts and LLC's into which he will again transfer the couple's ill gotten assets and then transfer the assets from the Cook Islands to new secret off shore banks in other nations that also do not honor U.S. laws.

(I'm not surprised that Spud and Sgro are involved, but I can't understand why a respected law firm like LIONEL SAWYER & COLINS would be implicated in such a scam, especially when the firm employs two of Senator Harry Reid's sons, and Reid wants to be reelected in 2010?)

Following any new transfers, it's predicted that Lisa Rizzolo will be advised by LS&C to -- this time -- not answer any more deposition questions about the whereabouts of her and her husband's hidden assets even if IRS attorneys are asking the tough questions. She more than likely will be told by her lawyers that she should refer all such new inquiries to LS&C asset protection attorneys who are expected to refuse to divulge any more information regarding her finances based on lawyer-client privilege.

On Tuesday, we'll learn if Judge Pro will allow Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's legal subterfuge to continue. Or if the court will declare Rick Rizzolo in Contempt (or order a mental evaluation), and ask the U.S. Department of Justice to begin criminal prosecution of Lisa Rizzolo and attorney John Dawson before they make a complete mockery of our federal justice system, and the Internal Revenue Code.

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