| 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:

    Nevada Gaming Control Board and US Federal
      Court send Rick Rizzolo a Christmas Greeting

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
December 9, 2013

LAS VEGAS - What a way to start the Holiday Season!

On November 20, 2013, United States District Judge Philip Pro ordered chronic gambler Rick Rizzolo to pay $4,250,000.00 forfeiture and $1,734,000.00 in back taxes after soundly rejecting Rizzolo's motion to reduce or eliminate his obligations because the convicted felon claims to be broke.

During plea bargaining in 2005, Rizzolo agreed to pay the sums in exchange for a feather light prison sentence. The government kept its side of the deal sentencing him to only eleven months, but Rizzolo arranged a scam divorce in the court of a crooked judge and secretly hid his assets until their whereabouts were discovered during a deposition of his ex-wife.

In his current order, Judge Pro stated: "Rizzolo argues the $4,250,000 forfeiture, restitution in the amount of $1,734,000 owed to the Internal Revenue Service, and assessed fines should be reduced or eliminated because the Government wasted the substituted asset. Rizzolo argues his circumstances have changed such that he cannot and will not be able to satisfy his obligations. The United States responds by contending this Court previously has rejected similar arguments by Rizzolo. The Government further argues that it did not waste the asset. Rather, it tried to sell the Crazy Horse Too without success in a declining market after Rizzolo could not sell the property in the year given to him to do so under the plea agreement." "...the Court finds there is no change in circumstances to justify reducing or eliminating Rizzolo?s obligations. Rizzolo?s prior efforts at concealing assets combined with his ability to earn income weigh against a finding that Rizzolo will have no future ability to pay his obligations. The Court therefore denies Rizzolo?s Motion to the extent it seeks to relieve him of his obligations based on an inability to pay in the future."

Then two weeks later, Rizzolo's pal Tim Poster was denied a gaming license by the Nevada Gaming Control Board because of his association with the former Crazy Horse Too strip club operator.

Within days of Judge Pro's November 20th order, Rizzolo on December 5, appealed Pro's latest decision to the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco, the forth such appeal based on the same unsound grounds claiming the government screwed up the value of the club. Three similar appeals were previously filed, and two were denied by the Ninth Circuit Court; one filed by Rick's ex-wife Lisa; and Rick's first appeal. Rick's stepmother Kimtran Rizzolo's appeal is pending.

Per Rick's failed February 13, 2012 appeal, attorney Dominic Gentile unsuccessfully argued: "The government thereupon assumed that right and corresponding obligation but thereafter failed to timely renew the privileged adult use and tavern licenses of the business; and as a result, the area in which the club was located was thereafter re-zoned by the City of Las Vegas so as to prohibit "adult" uses; and the club became unsellable, fell into disrepair, and has since been foreclosed upon by the mortgagee."

Per Lisa's failed May 18, 2012 appeal, attorneys George Kelesis and Mark Bailus unsuccessfully reiterated Rick's argument: "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."

The Rizzolo's have long claimed that they had offers for the club of between thirty and forty-five million dollars while it was operating as a racketeering enterprise - the proverbial golden goose. The Rizzolo's argue that had the club been sold (to a Rizzolo associate) prior to being shut down, they would have had ample money to pay Rick's forfeiture and back taxes.

Unfortunately, Rick's latest attorney, Israeli born Sigal Chattah (left), is expected to argue the same failed argument.

Ms. Chattah should be aware that each and every purported "buyer" Rick brought forth was a straw man with no money, and with their help, Rick planned to resume management of the club upon his release from prison.  None placed a deposit into escrow, and in the end, even Rizzolo's own lawyer wrote that they all "failed to perform."

Judge Pro acknowledged as much in his Order on November 20: "Moreover, Rizzolo has not presented any evidence from which this Court could determine how much, if any, a decline in value was due to alleged waste by the Government versus the dramatic decline in property values during the relevant time frame. Rizzolo was unable or unwilling to sell the property during the year given to him under the plea agreement during more favorable market conditions."

Here are several examples of the "offers" Rizzolo entertained:

When all of the above "buyers" crapped out, the following confidential letter (obtained exclusively by INSIDE VEGAS) was faxed by Rizzolo's former lawyer Mark Hafer to a representative of Steve Wynn stating that "no buyer has performed its contract," or they simply "failed to perform:"

Rick and his stepmother Kimtran Rizzolo continue to plead that the government shirked its responsibility by not operating the topless bar to maintain its value while Rick was "away."  Needless to say, both appeals are expected to be denied in 2014. The government had no obligation or desire to operate a topless bar until a mob associate could be found to purportedly buy it!

An appeal does not put the brakes on having to pay forfeiture and back taxes. In Rick's case, the government still thinks he has the ability to pay, especially after examining Rizzolo's former lifestyle.

A confidential source told INSIDE VEGAS that he had the pleasure of dating Rick and Lisa's daughter Monica during the Rizzolo's happier times. The man described being invited to dinner at the Rizzolo Canyon Gate estate where he said the Rizzolos acted like an ordinary family. After a cordial dinner, he said Rick and his then-wife Lisa invited everyone to the Hard Rock Hotel where Rick immediately went to the tables and promptly lost over two million dollars.  The man said the Rizzolo's seemed unfazed by the loss and continued enjoying their evening without further mention. However, Monica's date said the nonchalant way the incident was treated by the Rizzolo family inspired him to find another girlfriend.

For years, Rick was known up and down the Strip as a "Whale," someone with a million dollar line of credit. He was also known for his extravagant partying. This is what inspired Tim Poster to tell the Gaming Control Board on December 4, that Rizzolo was ?a very profitable and sought-after casino customer,? therefore he established a "relationship" with him, a relationship that just cost Poster a full-fleged gaming license.

This information will not be overlooked by the Ninth Circuit Court.

I have not yet read Rick Rizzolo's latest appeal, but it's certain to mention the Crazy Horse Too was once worth over $30 million - but will not mention that Rizzolo's goons beat money out of patrons, extorted, and peddled drugs and prostitution - the basis for Rick's gambling habit, and the reasons the club was closed down.

So, even Santa can't bail Rick out when according to the latest Federal Court Order: "...the Government contends Rizzolo has shown a capacity and willingness to divert funds to avoid his obligations, and Rizzolo has the means to earn income to apply toward his obligations. The Government thus contends Rizzolo may have the means to satisfy his obligations in the future."

And in the meantime, justice has not taken a holiday, Rick Rizzolo killed the goose that laid the golden eggs, and his good-time friends are keeping their distance.


* 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 - 2013 PLR International