Amazing Deposition of Kimtran Rizzolo
"Don't remember." "What
you mean?" "Don't know."
"I need the blanket or
something. I'm cold."
"I don't understand really
"I don't have money now."
"I spend it."
"This is very uncomfortable
"I don't understand."
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
November 21, 2011
LAS VEGAS - Kim Nhung Tran and her first
husband Phuc Du in 1981 moved from the jungles of North Vietnam to Las
Vegas in order to escape Communism. Having been granted political asylum,
Kim, then 28, and Phuc began their quest for the American dream; Kim cleaning
apartments in North Las Vegas, and Phuc working as a porter at the Golden
Nugget. Kim Nhung Tran and Phuc Du later divorced "because I was miserable,"
but she cannot remember when the divorce took place.
Kim went to school and became a manicurist
but can't remember the name of the school or where it was located. She
met Bart Rizzolo at a nail salon, but can't remember the year. They were
later married, but she can't remember the date.
Thirty years after moving to Las Vegas,
Kim (who now likes to be called Kimtran Rizzolo) is a widow living in a
3,600 square foot house on a half acre estate, controls bank accounts,
CD's, trusts, and annuities worth several million dollars that she inherited
from her late husband Bart.
In 2008, Bart and his son Rick Rizzolo's
lucrative Las Vegas strip club the Crazy Horse Too was shut
down. The Rizzolo's corporation pled guilty to Conspiracy to Participate
in an Enterprise Engaged in Racketeering Activity between January 1, 2000,
and 2005. Frederick Rizzolo and 16 of his employees also entered
guilty pleas to federal felonies. Bart Rizzolo was not individually charged
for any crime.
The government accused the Rizzolos
of condoning beatings and robberies at the Crazy Horse Too including one
in 2001 that rendered Kansas tourist Kirk
Henry a quadriplegic. Henry sued, and later accepted a promised settlement
of $10 million dollars. Rick Rizzolo plea bargained promising to pay Henry
in exchange for a light prison sentence, but later reneged claiming poverty
while hiding his money overseas or with his father.
Henry's initial lawsuit inspired the FBI
to investigate the strip club which later resulted in its closure and forfeiture.
Henry has been pursuing his unpaid settlement ever since with the court
ordering the Rizzolos to pay.
Rick ended up serving less than a year
in federal prison, was released and placed on parole, violated parole,
and is currently back in prison serving an additional nine months for withholding
information from his parole officer about financial transactions he conducted
during his first prison stay, or while on supervised release.
During his first prison sentence, Rick
Rizzolo in 2008 secretly sold his one third interest in the Philadelphia
Crazy Horse Too for $3 million dollars to auto dealer Vince
Piazza. After learning of the sale, the Federal Court ordered
that the money be paid to Kirk Henry. However, an initial payment of $789,000.00
had already been secretly
transferred to Rizzolo's late father Bart in order to hide the money
from Henry and the IRS. After Bart passed away in 2010, the $789,000.00
was inherited by his widow Kimtran. Since receiving the initial money,
Kimtran has been receiving regular payments on the balance of the $3 million,
so far totaling $1,052,996.03, but in her deposition she claims to not
know why she's receiving the funds, or from whom.
The American Dream?
Still claiming to not know the reason she's
receiving payments from Piazza, Kimtran's attorney tried to provide some
clarity in an Answer
he filed to Kirk Henry's lawsuit. Attorney Herb Sachs states his client
is entitled to keep the money because: "Any harm allegedly suffered by
Plaintiff was caused by its own actions," and, "Any harm allegedly suffered
by Plaintiff was caused by persons, firms or corporations other than Defendant,"
i.e., Kimtran did not personally break Henry's neck, so let her keep the
Though Kimtran has lived in the United
States since 1980 (31 years), she now claims to not understand enough English
to answer interrogatories or deposition questions about her late husband's
assets deposited in her numerous bank accounts and trusts that she has
failed to provide written records for. When she was offered the services
of a translator, Kimtran answered "I don't know."
In her deposition, Kimtran remarkably testified
that she did not know who her benefactor Vince Piazza is, or the reason
he paid her over a million dollars. She also stated she did not know what
her late husband did for a living, or who owned the Vegas or Philadelphia
It was later discovered Kimtran has been
paying Rick Rizzolo's most recent attorney fees.
It will now be up to United
States Federal Judge Philip Pro to force Kimtran to answer Henry's
questions as to the exact location of the Philadelphia proceeds, or possibly
charge her with contempt if she continues pleading ignorance.
During the initial minutes of Kimtran's
October 12, 2011 deposition, Donald Campbell, an attorney for Kirk Henry,
told Kimtran. "Do you understand if you don't tell the truth, that can
be used to charge you with a crime?" Kimtran answered, "Yes."
Campbell went on to say, "That's not
to suggest that you would commit a crime, but it's to advise you of the
importance of telling the truth so you don't get charged with a crime in
Kimtran answered, "You go too far. I
From there on based on her less-than-responsive
deposition answers, it was as if Kimtran had been coached by Rick Rizzolo
himself, even though the Federal Court issued an ORDER
on October 27, 2011 clearly stating: "Defendant Rick Rizzolo shall not
take any action, directly or indirectly or through any agents or anyone
else acting on his behalf, to hinder the payments of the funds being held
for or due Lions Limited Partnership to Kirk and Amy Henry in partial satisfaction
of his restitution obligation to them."
Mr. Campbell: Have you ever engaged
in any financial transactions or conducted any business with Rick Rizzolo?
Kimtran: Say again, please.
Campbell: Have you ever engaged in any
Kimtran: What does that mean, "engaged"?
Campbell: Have you ever been involved
in any financial transactions or business dealings with Rick Rizzolo?
Campbell: Have you ever conducted any
financial transactions involving Rick Rizzolo in any way on behalf of Bart
Kimtran: Explain it.
Campbell: Have you ever conducted any
financial transactions for Bart Rizzolo?
Kimtran: I still don't understand.
Campbell: Have you ever been involved
with any money transactions or financial transactions involving legal documents
on behalf or for your husband?
Kimtran: On behalf and for my husband?
I still don't understand.
Campbell: You don't understand that
Kimtran: It's a little hard for me to
Campbell: That's a little hard for you
to understand. Let me ask a different question.
Campbell: Since your husband died, have
you been involved in any financial transactions involving moneys?
Kimtran: Mean? Mean what?
Campbell: Meaning have you been involved
in any financial transactions --
Kimtran: From me account?
Campbell: Okay. Since your husband Bart
died, have you been involved in any financial transactions involving moneys
to which he is supposedly entitled?
Kimtran: Don't understand.
Campbell: Don't understand, okay. Have
you been involved in any transactions where you got money since your husband
Kimtran: I don't understand quite what
you want to know.
Campbell: Well, what I want to know
is have you ever been involved in any transaction regarding --
Kimtran: What is that? I'm sorry.
Campbell: You don't know what the word
Kimtran: Involved with transaction?
Campbell: But I'm only concerned with
what you understand or don't understand. So is the word "involved" is,
is that in some way not understood by you?
Kimtran: I don't understand that.
Campbell: You don't understand the word?
Kimtran: What you mean?
Campbell: You don't understand what
the word "involved" means?
Campbell: Okay. Have you participated
Kimtran: I don't understand either.
Campbell: You don't know what the word
Campbell: Have you been a part of any
financial transaction since Bart Rizzolo died?
Kimtran: I don't understand what you
Campbell: I want to know whether or
not you were involved in any business deals since your husband died.
Kimtran: Business deal, no.
Campbell: Any other transactions or
dealings with other people where you got money on behalf of your husband?
Kimtran: On behalf of my husband? What
does that mean?
Campbell: That maybe your husband was
allegedly or supposedly entitled to?
Kimtran: Don't know.
Mr. Campbell went on to present several
documents with the signature Kimtran Rizzolo that the witness said she
did not remember reading or signing.
On page 94 of the deposition, Campbell
presents a photo copy of a check from Vince Piazza to Kimtran Rizzolo for
$92,000. He asked: "When you got this check for $92,000, what did you
do with it?" Kimtran answered: "I Spend it." Then she changed
her answer to "I deposit it."
Kimtran went on to nervously answer several
additional questions truthfully, revealing that she deposited most of Piazza's
payments in her account at Bank of America, opening the door for Henry's
attorneys to subpoena the bank's records.
Keep in mind that Kimtran Rizzolo has lived
in the United States for over thirty years; declined the service of an
interpreter during her deposition; reportedly pays Rick Rizzolo's outrageous
legal bills; was married for over ten years to Bart Rizzolo who spoke only
English; and she is currently responsible for managing cash and assets
worth several million dollars, but claims to not know the meaning of English
language words including "engaged," "transaction," "involved," "participate,"
Kimtran Rizzolo's non-answers inspired
attorney Campbell on November 17, 2011 to file a MOTION
TO COMPEL with the United States Federal Court asking that she be forced
to answer questions about her finances.
In the MOTION, Henry's attorneys state.
"Ms. Rizzolo refused to respond to Plaintiff's discovery responses concerning
her financial condition. Defendant's inaction is clearly borne out of a
desire to conceal her financial activity and reinforces her total disregard
for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Accordingly, it is respectfully
requested that Defendant Kimtran Rizzolo be compelled to produce responsive
documents and answers to Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories and Requests
for Production. This relief is requested in addition to appropriate sanctions
including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs."
Even without knowing all the details about
where Kimtran stashed the Philly sale proceeds, Henry's legal team on November
7, 2011 felt confident enough about locating the funds that they filed
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT stating: "It is respectfully requested that this
Court grant summary judgment to Plaintiffs Kirk and Amy Henry in the amount
of $1,052,996.03. This sum represents the total amount of money that Rick
Rizzolo fraudulently transferred to Bart and Kimtran Rizzolo in order to
conceal assets from Plaintiffs and frustrate their recovery of the debt
owed to them. All of these funds derive from Rick Rizzolo's surreptitious
sale of interest in TEZ Real Estate (Philadelphia Crazy Horse Too) and
therefore rightfully belong to Plaintiffs."
With two motions sitting on Judge Pro's
desk, and no expectation that the court will come close to replicating
Donald Campbell's patience, it's expected that Kimtran's fate will be known
within the next several weeks, and Kirk Henry may soon receive $1,052,996.03
to apply toward satisfying his court ordered restitution.
Here is Kimtran Rizzolo's amazing deposition: