| Home | Books and Gifts | Photo Album | Mob Busters | Mafia Site Search |
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:

Rizzolo accuses U.S. Judge of "abuse of discretion"
for allowing attorney for unpaid beating victim
to say, "send this gangster back to jail"

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
October 24, 2011

LAS VEGAS - While convicted Vegas racketeer Rick Rizzolo sits in Taft Federal Prison awaiting his June 12, 2012 release, his attorneys are busy spending his money filing documents in their relentless quest to convince the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that their client should be released so he can actively participate in the defense of his ill-gotten fortune.

In a last minute attempt to gain their client's freedom, the former Crazy Horse Too strip club owner's legal team on October 18, 2011 filed a 121 page REPLY to the United States Attorney's Opposition to (Rizzolo's) Emergency Motion for Release Pending Appeal of (Rizzolo's) Revocation of parole.

In Rizzolo's REPLY, his team of attorneys led by Dominic Gentile are trying to convince the Ninth Circuit Court that veteran Judge Philip Pro, appointed to the Federal Bench in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, severely screwed up by committing an "abuse of discretion" when he allowed attorneys for unpaid beating victim Kirk Henry to address the court during Rizzolo's re-sentencing. Rizzolo was sent back to jail for failure to report or pay his court ordered obligations including $14,678,200 he currently owes Henry after his neck was broken by a Crazy Horse Too manager over a disputed $88 bar tab.

Here's how Dominic Gentile describes Judge Pro's alleged abuse:

                                                    (Click on page for full document)

It's now up to the Ninth Circuit judges to decide whether Judge Pro made an "arbitrary, capricious, unconscionable, unfair, unreasonable, or illegal" ruling (Webster's New World Law Dictionary definition of "abuse of discretion") when he allowed Henry's attorneys to make a victim impact statement in open court on behalf of their client. According to Judge Pro's words on the following page from the transcript of Rizzolo's sentencing hearing, the jurist fully believed Kirk Henry's opinion was relevant to the proceedings.

                                                      (Click on page for full document)

During the exhaustive five days of hearings, Judge Pro allowed Henry's attorneys to participate, and the U.S. Attorney often referred to evidence gathered at Henry's expense; evidence showing Rizzolo lived a lavish lifestyle, and secretly transferred millions of dollars while ignoring his court ordered debts.

It was Henry who discovered the Rizzolo's hidden off shore accounts, trusts, and assets, and Rick's attempt to conceal $3 million dollars he was to receive from the sale of the Philadelphia Crazy Horse Too. It was Henry's attorneys who deposed Rizzolo's business partner Vince Piazza and learned of the $3 million, then shared their findings with the U.S. Attorney as was their obligation.

Henry clearly played a large part in the government's case to put Rizzolo back in jail for lying to the court. And it was from Henry's deposition of Lisa Rizzolo that the feds were informed of Rick Rizzolo's ill-gotten funds stashed in the Cook Islands. Therefore Henry fully believed as a victim his side should be heard during the (re)sentencing, and Judge Pro -- in his discretion -- agreed.

However, Rizzolo's attorneys vehemently disagreed with Judge Pro's inclusion of Henry's remarks, and referred to Henry as a "non-victim" in their 121 page REPLY.

Meanwhile, unless he's smuggled a cell phone into prison, Rick's ability to call the shots is very limited.

Judge Pro ruled that Henry has priority over the IRS and other creditors, and indicated at Rizzolo's re-sentencing that creditors can immediately proceed to collect what they're owed - much of which is hidden in the Cook Islands, and in Rizzolo's stepmother's bank account:

                                                    (Click on page for full document)

Last week, Henry's attorneys subpoenaed the bank records of Rick's stepmother Kim Tran Rizzolo.

On March 25, 2008, Rick sold his 33.3% share of the Philadelphia Crazy Horse Too to auto dealer Vince Piazza for $3 million dollars. Rizzolo tried to conceal the proceeds from his creditors including Kirk Henry and the IRS.

The Federal Court ruled that the $3 million must be paid to Henry before the IRS and others.

On August 16, 2011, Henry received an electronic transfer of $465,864 from Vince Piazza's Bank of America account being held for Lisa Rizzolo. The money was sent to Henry's trust account only after his attorneys filed a Motion in Federal Court to have Piazza charged with Contempt of Court if he withheld the money against court orders (

However, $789,000 of the sale proceeds had already ended up in the hands of Kim Tran Rizzolo, the widow of Rick's late father who passed away on March 19, 2010. This has led to a Federal lawsuit filed against Kim Tran to recover the money before it might get passed on to Rick or his ex-wife. The following confidential fax shows a conspiratorial attempt by two unscrupulous Rizzolo-paid lawyers to keep the money away from Henry or the IRS.

In response to Kirk Henry's lawsuit, Kim Tran has mounted a legal defense (excerpts below) claiming because she didn't personally break Henry's neck, she's entitled to keep (his) money:

                                                        (Click on page for full document)

It will soon be up to Judge Pro to decide whether Kim Tran can keep the money that was intended for Kirk Henry.

And it will be up to Lisa Rizzolo to fight Judge Pro's SPECIAL CONDITIONS (9) and (10) that state: "You shall move to the United States the location and management of all trust accounts in which (Rick Rizzolo) holds an interest directly or indirectly as a beneficiary." "You shall sign all waivers necessary for the Probation Office, Internal Revenue Service and Amy and Kirk Henry allowing any foreign trust which you have or had an interest to provide records and other information to the Probation Office, Internal Revenue Service and Amy and Kirk Henry."

And while collection efforts rev up, Rick is isolated in the middle of the California desert wondering what's happening -- that's if he doesn't have a secreted cell phone (Attn: Warden Ray Andrews).

If Rizzolo does not have a secret cell phone, then according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons § 540.103: INMATE TELEPHONE CALLS TO ATTORNEYS: "Inmates must place all personal telephone calls over the inmate telephone system. Staff may not monitor an inmate's properly placed call to an attorney. The Warden may not apply frequency limitations on inmate telephone calls to attorneys when the inmate demonstrates that communication with attorneys by correspondence, visiting, or normal telephone use is not adequate. The Bureau provides each inmate with several methods to maintain confidential contact with his or her attorney. For example: # inmate-attorney correspondence is covered under the special mail provisions; # private inmate-attorney visits are provided; and # the inmate is afforded the opportunity to place an occasional unmonitored call to his or her attorney. Staff are to ensure that the unmonitored calls they place on an inmate's behalf are to an attorney."

And while Rizzolo struggles to maintain control of his fortune through "occasional unmonitored calls to his attorney," these words from Judge Pro must be echoing in his mind: "...insofar as recovery can be made during the course of (Rizzolo's) supervision, it will be."

So it's obvious the court intends that attorneys for Henry and the IRS immediately pounce on the $789,000 wrongfully held by Kim Tran Rizzolo, and the millions being stashed in the Cook Islands by Lisa Rizzolo.

Unless the Ninth Circuit Court agrees with Mr. Gentile and sets his client free, Rick will sit in jail for the next seven and a half months wondering what's going on back home, while his legal bills continue ad infinitum.

* If you would like to receive Steve's frequent E-Briefs about Las Vegas' scandals, click here: Steve Miller's Las Vegas E-Briefs

Copyright © Steve Miller

email Steve Miller at:
div. of PLR International

Copyright © 1998 - 2011 PLR International