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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:

Did Lisa Rizzolo lie to the IRS?

26, U.S.C., 7207, makes it a Federal crime for
anyone to willfully file a Federal income
tax return knowing it to be false

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
January 25, 2010

LAS VEGAS -  On May 17, 2006, Vegas racketeer Rick Rizzolo entered into a plea agreement with United States Attorney for Nevada Daniel Bogden. In it, Rizzolo agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion, and to pay the following amounts to the IRS in order avoid a long prison sentence, and to secure the government's promise that it would not indict his father, sister, and brother:

"The restitution of US $1,734,000.00 plus accruals;" "a fine of US $750,000.00 plus interest;" and a "tax lien for the 2006 individual income taxes of US $1,032,535.26 plus accruals." Total - $3,516,535.26 not including penalties and interest.

The former Crazy Horse Too topless bar owner also agreed to pay beating victim Kirk Henry $9 million dollars. Henry was crippled in 2001 after he disputed a padded bar tab, and his lawsuit inspired the present federal case against the Rizzolos.

Rick Rizzolo ended up spending less than an year in federal prison. Bogden kept his word by letting Rizzolo's relatives off scot-free, but Rizzolo welched on his side of the deal.

On May 24, 2005, three weeks prior to beginning his year long plea negotiations, Rick divorced his wife Lisa. Within weeks of their divorce, she mortgaged the couple's three homes, and began stashing their cash in a Cook Islands bank. However, she wasn't supposed to tell anybody.

But on June 5, 2009, Lisa spilled the beans in a deposition. She reluctantly revealed the whereabouts of cash she's been generously doling out to her ex-husband since setting up the foreign account -- however, she did not inform the IRS of her generosity, or the presence of the money stashed in a Cook Islands bank!

It's more than possible Lisa Rizzolo willfully lied on her income tax returns -- that her husband is willfully refusing to pay his back taxes, fines, accruals, penalties and interest -- and the IRS has been ordered to do nothing about it!

Ever since her June 2009 deposition, Lisa's attorneys have been desperately trying to get the court to seal the information she revealed even though it involves millions and millions of dollars owed to U.S. taxpayers, and ill-gotten money she derived during the term of her marriage to Rick. Nevada is a Community Property state, and the couple were married during the time Rick was engaged in obscenely profitable criminal activities.

The Cook Islands are owned and governed by New Zealand, a country that has a treaty with the United States that prevents something they call "double taxation."

The UNITED STATES - NEW ZEALAND INCOME TAX CONVENTION was signed at Wellington, New Zealand on July 23, 1982 by then-President Ronald Reagan.


It also states: "...dividends derived from New Zealand will be subject to a tentative withholding tax of 30 percent."

So the Rizzolos are paying the citizens of New Zealand thirty percent of the interest derived from their fortune stashed in a Cook Islands bank, i.e., Rick and Lisa have so far gifted the citizens of New Zealand hundreds of thousands of dollars in that country's withholding tax in exchange for protecting an American mobster's fortune, and keeping millions of dollars from benefiting U.S. citizens.

In addition, the "asset protection" scam is making a mockery of our nation's justice system!

It took from 1982 until 2009 for anyone in our government to take interest in the Cook Islands scam. On March 2, 2009, United States Senator Carl Levin (D - Michigan) finally named the Cook Islands as a "probable location for U.S. tax evasion."

Senator Levin's "Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act" is in the first step of the legislative process. Introduced bills and resolutions first go to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go to general debate. For this reason, the Rizzolo's stashed cash may continue to be safe from IRS seizure for months or years depending on whether the Act ever makes it out of committee to be ratified by Congress.

In the meantime, there are plenty of good banks still left in the USA where funds are protected by the FDIC. So, why did Lisa send her and her husband's cash outside our country? The answer is too obvious. To avoid paying her and her husband's debts.

Back to the falsified income tax returns: "Any person who willfully delivers or discloses to the Secretary any list, return, account, statement, or other document, known by him to be fraudulent or to be false as to any material matter, shall be fined not more than $10,000 ($50,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both." - 26 U.S.C. § 7207

Ms. Rizzolo is not mentally retarded, and she was not coerced during her deposition. Take a look at her testimony and decide for yourself if she knowingly filed false income tax returns.

To date, not one penny of Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's court ordered debts have been paid, and even the IRS can't touch the money while it's stashed in the Cook Islands thanks to a local, politically connected asset protection lawyer.

However, the IRS can still do something to bring justice to this case! They can attach money Lisa imports back into our country to pay her and her husband's extravagant lifestyle expenses. Or they can seize her cars, jewelry, and what's left of the equity in the three houses.

In her deposition she was asked if she filed with the IRS that she has; "an interest in or signature or other authority over a financial account in a foreign country?"  She answered "No."

Then she was asked; "And in respect to the (IRS) question, 'Did you receive a distribution, or were you the grantor of a foreign trust?' You again said 'No.' Correct?"

Lisa answered, "That's what is marked here," (pointing to several years of her tax returns).

But even with this information,  the IRS has done nothing, and the case is completely stalled in Federal Court!

During the past two months, the only movement in this eight-year-long case consists of a series of ridiculous objections recently filed by Lisa's attorneys asking the court to seal all records relating to the Cook Islands account and any other financial information already discovered or to be discovered in this case, and the weird document (below) filed by Rick Rizzolo's former jail house lawyer James "Spud" Kimsey challenging the court's jurisdiction to hold him in contempt for practicing law without a license. That's it. No other action or progress for over two months!

The above document and Lisa Rizzolo's motions to seal pertinent financial records are currently the only issues being considered by the United States Federal Court in this case.

To the best of my knowledge, the IRS has apparently written off the Rizzolo's tax obligations.

I've always paid my fair share of taxes. I file my returns on time, and seldom pay penalties for underestimating what I owe.

The only time I wavered was after my father died in 1984. I soon learned that I owed Uncle Sam around $45,000 in inheritance taxes. I didn't have the money, so I was forced to fall behind.

Within days of discovering my shortage, I received a call from a very unfriendly IRS agent telling me I had a limited time to come up with the money or the IRS would begin attaching my assets. I tried to explain that I couldn't, and needed to set up a payment schedule. He said, "Why don't you sell your Porsche and pay up now?"

I said I wouldn't, and that I was entitled to a payment schedule if I agreed to pay all penalties and interest. The agent reluctantly agreed.

It took me over two years to clear my debt with the IRS. That was during the Reagan administration, and two years after the president signed the New Zealand Convention.

Had I known I could have liquidated my real-estate assets, hired a politically connected attorney, and stashed my cash in the Cook Islands, I may have never had to pay that inheritance tax, or any other debts I owed at the time.

What is happening in the current KIRK HENRY v. RICK AND LISA RIZZOLO case is causing me to completely lose faith in my nation's justice system, and the U.S. Treasury's ability to collect taxes under the present goof ball administration.

I believe the Rizzolos are being protected based on whom they hired to hide their assets, and his connections to the Federal Court and Washington, D.C.

How else could a Federal case originating in 2001 take this long to resolve?

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