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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 pleads poverty!
Desperate to keep hidden assets and not pay
court ordered bills, convicted racketeer tells
judge "I can't even afford a new attorney."

2 AM, 7/10/08, Rizzolo entertains in $3,000 per night private booth at Body English

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
February 23, 2009

LAS VEGAS - In an ad nauseam test of our local and federal court's patience in trying to collect tens of millions of dollars in court ordered debts, convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo and his ex-wife Lisa continue to thumb their noses at the IRS, City of Las Vegas, and an unpaid beating victim.

On the same day beating victim Kirk Henry's attorneys filed a 23 page Motion asking that a Magistrate's devastating ruling be overturned  -- a ruling (see Feb 9, INSIDE VEGAS) that killed Henry's ability to be paid for his life long injuries suffered in 2001 at the Rizzolo's now-defunct Crazy Horse Too topless bar -- Rick Rizzolo had the chutzpah to file the following Opposition that he wants the court to believe he authored in Proper Person because he's too broke to afford an attorney -- a document that if taken seriously may trigger the ultimate test of the legitimacy of the United States District Court, District of Nevada.

Though it seems like it will never end, I'm attempting to accurately document every detail of this precedent setting case because if Rick Rizzolo succeeds in having plea bargained for a feather light sentence in exchange for agreeing to pay $27 million in court ordered debts, then gets away with not having to pay his debts based on him hiring a team of shyster lawyers including the brother of a federal court judge to stage a "sham" divorce; form phony trusts, LLC's, and off shore accounts to hide assets from the IRS, Henry, and others while Rick pleads poverty, it will be a signal to every other crook with lots of cash that they can do the same, and that crime really does pay -- especially in Las Vegas.

However, Rizzolo's words totally contradict his criminal defense attorney Tony Sgro who when asked at a Las Vegas City Council meeting if Rizzolo would have to pay Kirk Henry from his personal assets in the event the Crazy Horse Too did not sell for an amount sufficient to pay all the Rizzolo's debts, Sgro clearly replied: "Yes."

"...the Henrys are to be paid whether or not the sale of the club yields sufficient funds." - Attorney Tony Sgro

"OK. That answers my question." - Councilman Steve Wolfson

Five months after Sgro said his client was personally responsible to pay Henry, on January 30, 2007, Councilman Wolfson's wife, the Honorable Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass (left), turned Henry's case upside down. Glass -- in spite of Sgro's admission -- refused to allow Henry's attorneys to locate Rizzolo's personal assets saying: "Stop, stop, please. I did not draft the settlement agreement. You have to wait for the sale of this business."

"You have to wait for the sale of this business?"

Why, after Henry has had to wait in a wheelchair for over six years to be paid? Enough is enough!

It was Rizzolo's attorney's own damning words, along with "35 to 40 beatings in three years" according to the city attorney, that inspired the council to permanently shut the Crazy Horse down, along with Sgro's admission that Henry would get paid one way or the other, not some arbitrary government action as Rizzolo wants us to believe.

Glass should know as well as her husband that the business will never be able to yield enough to pay even a fraction of the Rizzolo's debts, and that Henry is not in first position to be paid. A California bank is owed over $5 million ahead of him. Futhermore, the shuttered Crazy Horse is currently not even worth the $5 million that's owed the bank!

Then, out of the blue, a Federal Magistrate who was unfamiliar with the case, upheld Glass' decision leaving Henry to wait for the shuttered bar to sell for some ungodly amount of money in order for him to get paid even a fraction of what he's owed.

The husband and wife team of Wolfson and Glass have twice expressed conflicting legal opinions when it comes to the benefit of Rick Rizzolo and his family. On January 13, 2009, the couple's opinions clashed again when Judge Glass was scheduled to sentence the Rizzolo's 26 year old delinquent son Dominic for Battery With The Use of a Deadly Weapon.

Never mind that she already had one case involving the Rizzolos on her docket -- the Henry case -- Judge Glass gladly accepted Dominic's case after he pled guilty and just before sentencing. Two separate cases -- one civil, the other criminal -- involving the same family being "randomly" assigned to the same judge? Quite a coincidence...

Judge Glass' husband exclaimed on his criminal defense law firm's website: "People convicted of violent crimes have their prison sentences impacted by the harm done to their victims." "Any person who uses a... deadly weapon... in the commission of a crime shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term equal to and in addition to the term of imprisonment prescribed by statute for the crime."

Again, even though Dominic (left) tried to stab a man to death during an extortion attempt, Glass ignored her husband's words and coddled Dominic by giving him probation after LV Metro Police asked that he be charged with attempted murder.

Her actions caused some to question whether she and her husband ever discuss business after work hours? And whether it's a conflict of interest for two married public officials to simultaneously stand in official judgment of the same person as they have with Rick Rizzolo?

Judge Glass' refusal to allow an examination of Lisa Rizzolo's hidden assets after her husband told Rizzolo's attorney "OK. That answers my question," is probably part of the reason the Henrys decided to take their case to United States Federal Court. Then, without notice, Magistrate Judge George Foley on February 3, 2009, upheld Glass' ruling and all but destroyed Kirk Henry's chances of ever collecting the $9 million dollars Rizzolo promised to pay him in exchange for a feather light prison sentence.

Meanwhile, the phony offers to purchase the Crazy Horse dried up and local real estate values crashed leaving Henry's $9 million settlement from the sale of the topless bar in Neverland, along with the $5.5 million Rizzolo and his wife owe IRS; $2.3 million they owe the City of Las Vegas; plus around $9 million they owe to others.

Keep in mind that Rick and Lisa were married at the time the crimes were committed and the debts incurred. The money and property she hid was/is community property, and is subject to seizure now that it is clear that Rizzolo was personally responsible to pay his debts according to his lawyer and his signed plea agreement:

"...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."

Could this be made any clearer to the two esteemed jurists?

Over eight years have passed since Kirk Henry's neck was broken. Now is the time for the federal court to put Judge Glass' and Magistrate Foley's bogus rulings in the trash can, and go after Lisa Rizzolo and her hidden fortune no matter who at City Hall or in Washington D.C. it may offend. (Senator Harry Reid is in business with one of Mayor Oscar Goodman's law partners.)

This while Councilman Wolfson and his wife are reported to be exploring runs for higher office. And while Rizzolo's friends including Mayor Oscar Goodman  (shaking hands with Wolfson) wield tremendous influence and money around election time. And while Kirk Henry sits endlessly in an electric wheelchair waiting for almost a decade for his settlement. And while Rick Rizzolo is a regular fixture in our town's most expensive venues seen squandering tens of thousands in cash on a nightly basis.

The Federal Court unexplainably put a defrauded California bank in first position to collect the initial $5 million in proceeds from any sale of the Crazy Horse further damaging Mr. Henry. Rizzolo borrowed the money using the bar as collateral, then refused to pay it back -- giving it to his ex-wife to hide off shore. The bank soon went under, but I cannot understand why this personal injury and Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act case should include the bail out of a failed bank in preference to paying a broken man what he's owed?

Rizzolo keeps using the city's closure and the Department of Justice's seizure of his business as his excuse that the devaluation of the club was not his fault; "I could not predict the government would seize the business and property, then refuse to license it," Rizzolo whined.

Rizzolo then tries to convince the court that he had sold the Crazy Horse for anywhere between $29 and $48 million dollars, but the "government" somehow screwed up his sales, therefore he should not be forced to pay his debts from his wife's hidden assets.

He neglects to say that the initial $48 million dollar "buyer" was his straw man, and the subsequent buyers were determined by the Department of Justice to be just as unqualified based on their ties to Rizzolo, or business dealings with organized crime members.
The United States Department of Justice, District of Nevada

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Additionally, defendants’ plea agreements require The Power Company, Inc. to sell The Crazy Horse Too by June 1, 2007. The Government has the right to disapprove the sale if the buyer is a close relative or ongoing business partner of Rizzolo’s, is a felon, or has business dealings with organized crime members or groups.


It's now up to Federal Judge Philip Pro, the presiding judge in this case, to comb through all this information and decide whether to allow Kirk Henry to locate and seize Rick and Lisa's hidden assets. According to the FBI, there's plenty to go around, so the IRS should be close on Henry's heals in the event Judge Pro has had his fill of the obvious subterfuge.

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