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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:

Rick Rizzolo ordered to pay Kirk Henry's attorneys

The Court will therefore award Plaintiffs their reasonable attorneys fees and
costs in replying to Mr. Rizzolo’s Response to Plaintiffs’ Motion to Reveal.
Plaintiffs are awarded their reasonable attorneys fees and costs incurred
in preparing their reply to Defendant's opposition to their Motion.

During the October 7, 2009 hearing, Plaintiffs argued that Mr. Kimsey
has a felony record and that Mr. Rizzolo may have violated the terms
of his supervised release by having contact with Mr. Kimsey.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall
provide the United States Parole and Probation Office for the
District of Nevada with a copy of this order and the
transcript of the October 7, 2009 hearing.

United States Magistrate Judge
October 23, 2009

Judge Foley's ORDER

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
October 26, 2009

LAS VEGAS - Former Crazy Horse Too owner Rick Rizzolo claims to be broke -- so broke that his attorneys quit, and he was purportedly forced to hire a fellow ex-con to ghost write sixteen Pro Se legal documents. Unfortunately, Rizzolo (shown in this photo by Mike Christ) failed to inform the United States Federal Court that a jail house lawyer with no legal training was the author of the documents.

The first court documents Rizzolo, a convicted racketeer, said he personally authored included a Motion to Dismiss unpaid beating victim Kirk 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 1760 Amarone Way is actually in Henderson, 20 miles away. (Rizzolo is living with Cliff Diamond, the son of former Nevada State Assembly woman Renee Diamond.)

Hunterton and his co-counsel Don Campbell immediately recognized that Rizzolo was not the author of the sixteen documents. (Because the "F" word was not once used?). The author was actually a man named James Kimsey, alias Spud.

Hunterton and Campbell immediately filed a Motion requiring the Defendant to reveal the identity of his "ghost writer." This inspired Judge Foley to issue his latest Order.

According to Las Vegas Review-Journal court reporter Carrie Geer Thevenot; "...the Henrys' lawyers said they had racked up $260,000 in fees while responding to frivolous motions from Rizzolo and Kimsey. They also suggested that the relationship between the two felons violates the conditions of Rizzolo's release from prison."

Judge Foley instructed Henry's lawyers to provide proof by November 7, 2009, of the legal expenses that were incurred caused by Rizzolo's supposed Pro Se filings.

In the meantime, Rizzolo's latest attorney hire, Kenneth Frizzell, alias The Ticket Fixer, hit court with another attempt to stall Kirk Henry's eight-year-long effort to collect $9 million dollars in restitution Rizzolo agreed to pay him in exchange for a light prison sentence.

This latest OPPOSITION filed on October 18, asks the court to prohibit Henry's attorneys from obtaining Rizzolo's Presentence (financial) Report and Supervision Records from the United States Parole and Probation Office. They claim such information has "a strong presumption of confidentiality," and may be of interest to the news media.

In his Opposition, Frizzell states: "...the Plaintiffs agreed to payment of restitution through a global Settlement Agreement executed in 2006. The payment becomes due at the time of the sale of the Crazy Horse Too by the Government. Should the sale thereof result in a shortfall and payment of less than the entire amount, then, and only then, does Defendant RICK RIZZOLO, become personally obligated for the balance after the shortfall (emphasis added by Steve Miller)."

Rizzolo agreed to be "obligated for the balance after the shortfall," and the time of that shortfall has long since gone. The Crazy Horse has been on the market for over three years with no legitimate takers. The only prospective buyers the U.S. Marshals have presented were persons with ties to Rizzolo, and that was strongly prohibited by presiding United States Federal Judge Philip Pro.

But the feds have been persistent in their quest to unload their embarrassing liability. On August 13, 2007, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Hollingsworth informed the Federal Court: "The general public should not be allowed to know the proposed offers, the proprietary information, etc., since Rizzolo will select one to see it will complete the sale. If it fails, Rizzolo will select the next one."

To date, the one remaining offer is from a man named Christopher Candotti, a trucking company owner from Chicago. However, there's an interesting coincidence worth investigating.

paragraph removed by request

Could there be an attempt underway for Rick Rizzolo's Chicago associates to re-gain control of the Vegas CH2?

Remember, Condotti is dealing with the same federal officials who tried to keep the names of former prospective buyers secret from the public. I hope the U. S. Marshals are not so intent on trying to sell their embarrassing Vegas liability as to not be carefully vetting potential buyers. They should have learned their lesson back in 1990 when the feds inadvertently let convicted racketeer Joe Conforte re-gain control of his Mustang Ranch brothel in Reno.

And there's the question of whether the feds can sell the Crazy Horse at all? A group San Francisco investor/developer Luke Brugnara (left) controls, last April purchased the Crazy Horse Too’s First Mortgage at an auction held by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Brugnara has long wanted to buy the bar, but has never been considered. His top offer was $15 million, but that was in 2007 before the recession. Today, according to experts, the place is worth no more than $7 million -- and that's if it had a liquor license.

At that time, Brugnara described being stonewalled by Rizzolo’s attorneys who obviously did not want to sell the club to an outsider, or for less than it would take to get Rick and his ex-wife Lisa off the hook, especially with Kirk Henry and the IRS. Together, Rick and Lisa owe more than $27 million!

In 2007, Brugnara said any deficiencies can be recovered from the Rizzolo’s bank accounts and houses. That didn't go over well with Rizzolo and his supporters.

So, with the Crazy Horse property looking less and less able to cover Rizzolo's financial obligation to Kirk Henry, Rick Rizzolo becomes more and more "personally obligated for the balance after the shortfall." So his October 16 OPPOSITION stating: "Disclosure of PSRs (Pre Sentence Reports) could be seen as judges breaking faith with defendants. who are uniformly urged to cooperate with, and make full and truthful disclosure to the Probation Office to assist in sentencing decisions. This would not be the case if the reports were opened to public scrutiny," may be found moot by the Federal Court, and if so, additional information as to the whereabouts of Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's hidden fortune may be revealed in the PSRs even though Lisa claims the fortune is all hers because Rick gave it to her in a sham divorce.

But that's not all that's going on. For months, Lisa Rizzolo, Rick's ex-wife, has been trying to get Henry's attorneys disqualified. In her latest MOTION filed on October 21, 2009, her attorneys made the following statement:

"Unfortunately, it has turned out that Plaintiffs made a bad deal in the State Court case. This is not Ms. Rizzolo's fault. However, she has been dragged into this litigation because Plaintiffs are looking for someone with 'deep pockets' to collect against as it is obvious Rick Rizzolo is broke (emphasis added by Steve Miller) and the sale of the Crazy Horse Too will not yield sufficient funds to pay the remaining sums owed to Plaintiffs. It is Defendant's position that Plaintiffs lawsuit is meritless as Ms. Rizzolo has done nothing wrong and the only way she can properly defend herself at trial is to call the various attorneys including Mr. Campbell and Mr. Hunterton as witnesses. Whether Mr. Campbell and Mr. Hunterton like it or not, how they handled the State Court case is germane to Ms. Rizzolo's defense as is Mr. Patti's handling of the divorce case. As to the latter, Mr. Patti has already withdrawn as Rick Rizzolo's  attorney in this action evidently recognizing that he may have to testify at the time of trial. For the reasons stated above, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Hunterton should not be allowed to be both advocates and witnesses. Accordingly, Defendants are seeking to have Mr. Campbell and Mr. Hunterton disqualified as trial council. Such would not create an 'excessive hardship and prejudice' on the Plaintiffs as Mr. Campbell and Mr. Hunterton would be able to appear in pretrial proceedings as well as participating in the discovery process, and other lawyers in their firms could still be designated as trial council. As such, Defendants' motion should be granted."

However, tucked away on page 22 of the 34 page Motion, Lisa's attorneys include a document that states: "...the obligation to make said payment upon the closing is not contingent upon the realization of net proceeds from the sale sufficient to make the NINE MILLION DOLLARS ($9,000,000.00) payment."

Page 22 signed by Rick Rizzolo, in addition to Frizzell's statement (15 paragraphs above), seems to make Henry's case - again.

And I always thought attorneys weren't supposed to be forced to testify against their clients.  And isn't Nevada a Community Property state where husbands and wives share equal liability for debts incurred during the time of their marriage? Kirk Henry's neck was broken in 2001 when Rick and Lisa were happily married. And why did the Rizzolos have to hide their fortune off shore if it wasn't ill-gotten?

I just don't get it!

That said, what supports Rick and Lisa's gripe that they're not personally obligated to pay Kirk Henry, the IRS, and others? How long is the Federal Court going to let this charade continue? It's been over eight years since Henry's neck was broken by a Crazy Horse employee over a disputed $88 bar tab, and what about that $7 million the couple owes Uncle Sam?

Hopefully Judge Foley's October 23 Order is the first in a series that will finally bring justice in this protracted case. The judge has scheduled a hearing on Lisa Rizzolo's Motion to Disqualify Henry's attorneys on Monday, November 9, 2009, at 2:00 PM in LV Courtroom 3A, of the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse on Las Vegas Boulevard South.

It will also be interesting to see what Parole Officer Eric Christiansen does when he receives a copy of Judge Foley's Order and Transcript telling of Rick's association with a known felon.

But, the final straw may be if Rick thumbs his nose at Judge Foley and refuses to pay Henry's attorneys as he's done with all his other bills including the IRS.

Then there's the question of Spud's fate? Judge Foley's Order stated: "Mr. Rizzolo relied on a non-attorney, James E. Kimsey, to prepare legal pleadings which were then filed with the Court. In doing so, Defendant Rick Rizzolo allowed a non-attorney to determine the legal sufficiency of the instruments filed with the Court and relied on Mr. Kimsey’s judgment in applying legal knowledge to the specific issues pending in this action. As a result, the Court finds that Mr. Kimsey engaged in the unauthorized practice of law on behalf of Defendant Rick Rizzolo."

Unfortunately, Spud was previously convicted of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. Could this be the second such offense he brought upon himself, this time for doing a favor for Rick Rizzolo? And if he's charged, will Rick pay a real lawyer to defend him?

And they said the mob left Vegas years ago...
"Vegas: The City the Mob Made" - Featuring Steve Miller
Now available on DVD

The antithesis of "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" - SM

It's one of the most unique and infamous places in the world: Las Vegas. From its time as a playground for the Mafia and all the way into the corporate era, this 10-episode series offers a fascinating panorama of an enigmatic city.

Las Vegas... Sin City... There is no place like it on Earth. The adult playground in the Sun... The country's greatest resort city... the gambling capital of the world... A place of casinos... Home of the famous, and infamous Strip. It is a city where for the right price every kind of entertainment is available for everyone and anyone at any time... It is a city that never sleeps. But it is also a uniquely American city... A Western city... A desert city. Las Vegas' story is a 20th century tale... A tale that unites the Mob with the Wild West's culture of cowboys, gunslingers, and saloons. Las Vegas reflects the greater American story of freedom, and the American dream of striking it rich... The last place where you can arrive as a nobody... And leave a King. Yet it is also a story that would have never been written without the foresight and sponsorship of America's organized crime syndicate... Organized crime that played out here in Las Vegas differently than it did anywhere else in the country. This series - "Las Vegas: The City the Mob Built" - chronicles the untold history of this most American of cities... Las Vegas.






This documentary chronicles the colorful history of Las Vegas, from its final days as a Wild West desert outpost to its Mafia-financed transformation into a glittering Sin City that never sleeps. Detailing the ways that organized crime saturated Las Vegas -- and how, in turn, Vegas changed organized crime -- this illuminating program also reveals how the city eventually sloughed off the mob and reinvented itself as America's playground.

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