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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:

Federal Court Cripples Rizzolo
Freezes fraudulently transferred
U.S. and off shore assets

"The Court concludes Plaintiffs have established
that they are likely to succeed on the merits,
the balance of equities tips in their favor."
Senior U.S. Judge Philip M. Pro - October 10, 2012

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
October 15, 2012

LAS VEGAS - For the first time in the eleven-year-long HENRY v. RIZZOLO case, United States Senior Judge Philip M. Pro stated that he believes beating victim Kirk Henry will prevail at his upcoming Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act (UFTA) jury trail scheduled to begin on March 26, 2013.


During last Wednesday's hearing in the Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse to determine whether convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo's ex-wife Lisa Rizzolo and his step mother Kimtran Rizzolo should be prohibited from withdrawing further funds from off shore accounts and annuities, Judge Pro referred to case law created in 1998 by U.S. Judge Lloyd George that will allow Lisa to be jailed if she attempts to prevent transfer of her Cook Islands money to beating victim Kirk Henry in the likely event Henry prevails on March 26, 2013.

Stan Hunterton, one of Henry's attorneys, told Judge Pro that he was concerned that if his client won the UFTA case, the Rizzolos would refuse to repatriate their off shore stash to make good on Rick's agreement to pay Kirk Henry (LV Review-Journal photo) $10 million in restitution for the crippling injuries Henry suffered in 2001 at the hands of one of the Rizzolo's Crazy Horse Too topless bar managers after Henry disputed a padded bar tab.

In response to Hunterton's concerns, Judge Pro cited case law established by Federal Judge Lloyd D. George, the namesake of the Las Vegas Federal Courthouse.

According to a June 19, 1998 Federal Trade Commission PRESS RELEASE entitled Couple Jailed for Failing to Repatriate Almost $1.3 Million in Offshore Account; "Judge Lloyd D. George, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, on June 17, 1998, found San Diego defendants Denyse Anderson and Michael Anderson in contempt of court for failing to repatriate almost $1.3 million in assets located in an offshore trust. As a result of the contempt order, the Andersons will be jailed until the money is recovered."

The Anderson's money was stashed in the same Cook Islands bank as the Rizzolos.

In a written opinion issued on May 22, 1998, Judge George ruled that "there is a substantial likelihood that the (Plaintiff) will succeed on the merits in its litigation..." He then "froze the assets in the possession or control of the defendants."

Judge George's colleague Judge Pro said the same on October 10, 2012 about the Henry's case; "The Court concludes Plaintiffs have established that they are likely to succeed on the merits..." He then froze the Cook Islands assets of the Rizzolos.

Lisa and Kimtran Rizzolo should be concerned following Judge Pro's Wednesday ORDERs. The first of two ORDERs stops Lisa from continuing to draw funds from the Cook Islands to provide support for her freeloading adult children and extended family members:

Several minutes after publishing his first ORDER, Judge Pro published a second ORDER freezing Kimtran's U.S. accounts:
Full docket text for document 656:
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS - Motion Hearing held on 10/10/2012 before Judge Philip M. Pro. Crtrm Administrator: D. Sherwood; Pla Counsel: C. Stanley Hunterton, Philip R. Erwin; Def Counsel: Mark B. Bailus, Herbert Sachs, George P. Kelesis; Also Present - Brett I. Johnson for Garnishee Defendant Transamerica Life Insurance Company; Court Reporter/FTR #: Henry Enriquez; Time of Hearing: 10:30 a.m.; Courtroom: 7C; The Court, having heard the arguments of counsel, finds as follows: Plaintiffs' Motion [603] for Order to Hold Defendant Kimtran Rizzolo in Civil Contempt for Failure to Comply With Order (#583) and Judgment (#584) is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED Defendant Kimtran Rizzolo shall not attempt to withdraw, or withdraw, funds from her accounts at Transamerica Life Insurance Company, Metlife and Citi National Bank. Counsel shall submit a Proposed Order for the Court's signature containing the account numbers for these accounts. Plaintiffs' Motion [641] for Order to Show Cause Why Garnishee Defendant Transamerica Life Insurance Company Should not Be Held in Contempt for Failure to Comply With Order (Dkt. No. 634) is DENIED. The Court finds Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion for Injunctive Relief Against the Dissipation or Transfer of Assets [635] stands submitted. Court grants counsel's request to file Proposed Joint Pretrial Order on 10/11/2012. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - DMS)

The ORDER freezing Kimtran's accounts was in response to an earlier ORDER issued on April 19, 2012:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Judgment is hereby entered in favor of Plaintiffs Kirk Henry and Amy Henry and against Defendants Rick Rizzolo and Kimtran Rizzolo. The transfers to Bart and Kimtran Rizzolo in the total amount of $1,052,996.03 were fraudulent pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes § 112.180(1)(a) and therefore should be avoided. Defendants Rick Rizzolo and Kimtran Rizzolo shall make the necessary arrangements to transfer funds in the amount of $1,052,996.03 to Plaintiffs Kirk Henry and Amy Henry within thirty (30) days. Any such funds transferred to Plaintiffs Kirk Henry and Amy Henry shall be credited toward the Judgment entered against Rick Rizzolo and The Power Company in Kirk and Amy Henry v. The Power Company, Inc., et al., Case No.A440740 in Nevada state court.
DATED: April 19, 2012 
United States District Judge

Immediately following the April 19, ORDER, Kimtran's attorney Herb Sachs filed an APPEAL with the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco to try to have the $1,052,996.03 overturned.  This inspired two Las Vegas Review-Journal columns by John L. Smith::
and several Steve Miller INSIDE VEGAS E-Briefs critical of Kimtran.

Mr. Sachs responded with the following letter addressed to John L. Smith, and copied to me. The letter reveals the strategy Sachs plans to use with the Ninth Circuit Court:

Having carefully reviewed both Lisa's and Kimtran's Appeals, I must admit that the Appeal filed by Herb Sachs is the superior work product.


Kimtran's Appeal is pending, but I believe  -- though it's better written and more complete than LISA'S 32 PAGE APPEAL written by attorneys Mark Balius and George Kelesis -- it's still very similar to Lisa's that failed miserably in August 2012:

Both Lisa and Kimtran's Appeals make three of the same arguments; that third parties ruined the value of the Crazy Horse Too, that the purported $30 - $45 million dollar proceeds from its sale was the only means Rick ever agreed to use to pay Henry and the IRS, and that Lisa and Kimtran are not personally responsible for paying Rick's court ordered debts even though the Court concluded that he fraudulently transferred the bulk of his ill-gotten fortune to them in an effort to avoid paying Henry and the IRS (Kirk Henry has been given priority over the IRS in order of payment).

Lisa claimed in her Ninth Circuit Court Appeal that the then-operating Crazy Horse Too that Rick individually received in the divorce settlement was valued at the time of their divorce "in excess of $45 million." That was an outrageous claim that could only be supported if new owners continued robbing and beating patrons as was the Rizzolo's business model. (INSIDE VEGAS photo by Mike Christ showing Rizzolo leaving court on 02/22/2011 with his "spiritual advisor" Father Dave Cassilegio)

Lisa also told the appeals court that what she received in her settlement was worth a fraction of what her ex-husband got, therefore she should be allowed to keep the community property that was derived from Rick's criminal activities including cash and assets she stashed in the Cook Islands out of the reach of Kirk Henry and the IRS.

The Ninth Circuit Court denied her claims, but she will get another bite of the apple on March 26 when a jury will hear her pleas.

Not mentioned in Lisa's claims was that a straw man appeared in 2007 to run the club after Rick began his first shortened prison sentence. Soon thereafter, the Las Vegas City Attorney was informed by citizens and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police that the straw man slept in Rick's back office while Bart, Dominic, Annette, and Ralph Rizzolo continued running the business against the City Council's orders. Upon receiving this information, the City Council shut the place down before anyone else could get hurt.

One year after the City jerked the liquor license, with no business operating, and after all the purported "buyers" failed to perform, the adult use zoning expired. Then the recession hit. Six years later the court ruled: "As this Court already has determined a reasonable jury could find the Rizzolos? divorce constituted a fraudulent transfer."

Lisa also failed to tell the Appeals Court that just before Rick and her 2005 "sham divorce," the couple borrowed $5 million from a California bank. They used the Crazy Horse Too as collateral, stashed the money in the Cook Islands, and never paid a single payment on the loan. It was not the first highly questionable loan that bank made.

Six years later in July 2011, the bank's collateral including the Crazy Horse Too was auctioned by the FDIC. A California investor who owned stock in the failed bank and was trying to recoup his loss bought the Crazy Horse Too for only $3 million, and is currently trying to sell it off. Because of bad loans including the Rizzolo's, the taxpayers ended up paying for the bank's flawed judgment.

Now, Herb Sachs (left), the veteran 82 year old attorney for Kimtran Rizzolo, tells INSIDE VEGAS that he will use a similar argument as used by Lisa to again try to convince the Appeals Court that the Crazy Horse Too was once worth at least "$30 million dollars" before it closed, and if sold, would have covered all of the Rizzolo's debts including the alleged debts of Sachs' client Kimtran Rizzolo.

However, Mr. Sachs' claim that the property was ever worth over thirty million was dispelled in 2007 when all purported buyers "failed to perform" as stated in a letter faxed to Steve Wynn's representative by Rick Rizzolo's former attorney Marc Hafer:

Lisa tried many of the same arguments back in May 2012 as those now planned by Mr. Sachs, but the Ninth Circuit Court did not concur.

Sachs plans to again tell the Ninth Circuit Court; "The failure of the government and/or the Henry's attorney to permit the city license of the Crazy Horse Too to expire, reducing the property's value from well over thirty million to zero was the fault of either the city and/or the attorneys for the Henry's."

Here's Lisa's similar argument that was soundly rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court:
Case: 12-71545 05/18/2012 ID: 8184651 DktEntry: 1-2 Page: 13 of 32

In September 2006, the City of Las Vegas revoked the liquor and/or business license of the Crazy Horse Too. At the time of the revocation, an escrow had been opened for the sale of the Crazy Horse Too in the amount of $45 Million. The planned sale of the Crazy Horse Too reportedly failed because of the revocation of its liquor license which diminished its value. 

It was previously found that the person purported to offer $45 million in the escrow had no source of funding.

According to Las Vegas City Attorney Brad Jerbic; "(The buyer), on multiple occasions, has informed the City staff and the City Council that he has legitimate commercial financing for the $45 Million purchase of Crazy Horse Too. LVMPD has repeatedly asked for evidence of this. No evidence has been forthcoming... LVMPD has been unable to verify any source of funding for the purchase of the business."

In fact, all the purported "buyers" failed to perform prior to the expiration of the liquor license, so the claims that the Crazy Horse Too was once worth tens of millions of dollars is bogus. It was proven that the only way the Rizzolos made their obscene profits was through racketeering -- the beating and robbing of bar patrons, and suspected dope sales and prostitution. As of today the Crazy Horse Too is a tear down, with multiple structural defects caused by years of water and sewer leaks under the foundation.

                       (INSIDE VEGAS photo by the late Buffalo Jim Barrier)

I've been covering this story since 1999. During that time I have written dozens of stories about brutal beatings, at least one murder, and the corrupt judges, mayor, city councilman, district attorney, and other public officials who allowed the crimes to continue.

Now, I expect Kimtran's Appeal will fail for lack of merit as did the appeals of Lisa and Rick Rizzolo. I also agree with Judge Pro that Kirk Henry will prevail at his Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act trial in March.

Now, my only concern is that Kirk Henry is paid for his pain and suffering, and that the example set by HENRY v. RIZZOLO discourages future criminal enterprises patterned after the Crazy Horse Too, and warns would-be Rick Rizzolos that you cannot stash your ill-gotten gains in annuities, or in off shore accounts to avoid paying your debts.


Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to hear
exaggerated claims about the value
of the Crazy Horse Too strip club

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
June 18, 2012

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