side with bank against beating victim
since Tony Spilotro has there been as notorious a hoodlum
as Rick Rizzolo. For the bank to say they didn't know is farcical."
- Stan Hunterton, attorney for
Kirk Henry, 2/22/08
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
February 25, 2007
Las Vegas - In a shocking turn of
events, US Attorneys for Nevada, Gregory Brower and Daniel
have taken the side of a California bank asking US Federal Judge Philip
Pro to remove beating
victim Kirk Henry
from being first in line to receive his
$9 million dollar court ordered settlement to be taken from the sale of
forfeited Crazy Horse Too topless bar
On February 15, Brower and Hollingsworth filed a JOINDER with Security
Pacific Bank asking the court to allow the bank to conduct a
fire sale -- a move that could open the door for convicted racketeer
Rick Rizzolo or one of his associates to secretly regain control of his
seized saloon for around $5 million dollars, the amount the bank
foolishly loaned Rizzolo weeks before he was indicted.
The US Attorney's purported reason for helping the bank? The bank
claims it didn't know in advance it was about to grant a loan to a
known Mafioso, so it deserves to be first in line to recoup its losses.
In addition to trying to take Kirk Henry's settlement and give it to a
Brower and Hollingsworth asked Judge Pro to conduct a
hearing behind closed doors with the bank's attorneys allowed to argue
via telephone; deny Henry's request for discovery including an
investigation into where Rizzolo hid his personal assets; and deny
Henry's request for a trial in open court.
The government said they were doing this to save taxpayer money because
they believed Henry would not prevail at trial, and by cutting short
his attorney's requests, taxpayers would save the cost of fighting the
bank in open court, then losing.
This wasn't the first time Nevada US
Attorneys have raised eyebrows in this case. They have a history of
trying to keep the public in the dark regarding the Crazy Horse Too.
On August 13, 2007, they told Judge Pro, "The general public should not
be allowed to know the proposed offers, the proprietary information,
etc." regarding the sale of the topless bar.
Unless the sale of a mobbed-up topless bar is a matter of national
security, the Nevada US Attorney's request was way out of line, and
they themselves deserve to be closely looked at by the Department of
Justice for making such a request.
What are they trying to hide? Who are they working for?
If the US Attorneys get their way, Rizzolo could have a straw buyer
standing by to use the $5 million he stole from Security Pacific to
secretly buy his property back from the bank that loaned him the
money. This could also involve a loan officer who may have been in on
the deal. The US Attorneys for Nevada may be inadvertently (or
purposefully) helping this occur!
In their JOINDER, no reason was given why the US Attorneys are spending
taxpayer dollars assisting a private corporation to fight the efforts
quadriplegic whose neck was broken by the manager of the business they
loaned money to. The government should instead be fighting to make sure
such a tragedy never happens again!
In a 2006 court ordered settlement, Rizzolo was ordered to pay Henry
$10 million dollars for his injuries. So far Henry has only been able
to recover $1 million, and that was paid by Rizzolo's insurance. The
rest of the money was hidden, or is tied to a "substitute asset,"
the Crazy Horse real estate that appraised at only $5.4 million, far
less than what Henry is owed.
The question is, while his life long medical bills pile up, why are
Nevada US Attorneys placing road blocks in Kirk Henry's way? It just
doesn't make sense.
The bank and US Attorney's actions
also completely contradict a STIPULATION filed on September 1, 2007 by
Judge Pro ordering that Henry be first in line to receive any
proceeds from the sale of the Crazy Horse real estate and
building. Is it possible Judge Pro will reverse his decision?
Had it not been for Henry wisely choosing former United States
Prosecutors Stan Hunterton and Donald Campbell as his legal team to sue
Rizzolo for attempted murder, the Crazy Horse would still be open,
extorting hapless tourists into signing inflated credit card tabs
through intimidation or the actual use of force.
The US Attorneys for Nevada owe Mr. Henry a debt of gratitude for
pursuing his case, instead of trying to further injure him.
Only Federal law enforcement officials could have ended Rizzolo's reign
terror because he had effectively neutralized our local District
Attorney David Roger, who since being elected in 2002 repeatedly
refused to prosecute cases involving violent acts at the Crazy Horse
that were brought to him by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Just before Roger's election in which Rizzolo was his chief campaign fund
raiser, and Rizzolo's lawyer Tony Sgro provided free office space for a
campaign headquarters, Roger's
outgoing DA Stu Bell in December 2001 told a TV audience that he had
five Crazy Horse Too cases meeting the "probable cause" standard
waiting for his successor to prosecute. After being sworn in, David
Roger trashed the five cases including the 1995 wrongful death of Scott
David Fau, and the attempted murder of Kirk Henry that had occurred
just three months before Roger took office.
The family of both victims were then forced to pursue Rizzolo and his
expensive civil court proceedings with no help from the DA's office,
hence the intervention by the Federal government who have so far not
taken action against Roger for malfeasance.
Judge Pro's STIPULATION placing
Henry in first position put other Crazy Horse creditors including the
IRS and Security Pacific Bank in the awkward position of having to go
after Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's hidden personal assets if the bar doesn't
sell for more than what is owed Mr. Henry. But Nevada US
Attorneys for some reason want Judge Pro to reconsider his
decision to help Henry.
Two INSIDE VEGAS readers offer their opinions on this
Steve: They are working for the permanent government:
real estate interests, gambling casinos, LCN, and working towards
the lucrative jobs they will get after government service. An ordinary
federal employee slaves for 25-30 years for a shitty little pension and
no Social Security. I bet the US Attorneys get a fat deal when they
leave after just a few years. They will wind up in high horsepower law
firms or some equally lucrative spot in a casino where Rizzolo gambles
millions each year.
I am not surprised that our government would side with thugs and felons
over the average citizen. As a Nevada State Assemblyman I have seen
first hand the hypocrisy, deceit and malice of bureaucracy in action. I
have seen State Senators pray in a bible study with all apparent
sincerity one day and then warn me to not upset the same crooks you
write about on the next.
Correct me if I
but are the Federal Attorneys the same bunch who regularly seek to
prosecute the Border Patrol if those men are too successful in stopping
smugglers from bringing drugs into the US? Aren't these the same
official Mafioso's who praised the character of a convicted drug runner
while jailing the two men who shot this thug in the butt, turning him
back toward mother Mexico?
We have two levels
justice in this country, one for the wealthy and powerful, one for the
rest of us.
Nevada State Assemblyman
But the actions of the brother
of another Federal Court Judge
have made seizing the Rizzolo's
personal assets next to impossible in the event the Crazy Horse does
not sell for an amount adequate to pay all Rizzolo's debts.
Rizzolo's assets were cleverly
hidden, and according
to the FBI
, "commingled with the criminal proceeds and cannot be
divided without difficulty," through the actions of "asset protection"
attorney John Dawson, brother of Federal Court Judge Kent Dawson, the
sentenced 16 Crazy Horse defendants to feather light sentences without
disclosing his brother was one of Rizzolo's attorneys.
How did this all come about?
I believe ex-US
General Alberto Gonzalez in 2007 fired eight US
Attorneys because these prosecutors were about to go after high level
officials who had mob connections.
In California he fired US Attorney
Lamb who prosecuted the "Operation G Sting" case that brought down
Diego city officials and convicted Senator Harry Reid's Nevada
In Nevada, Gonzalez fired Daniel Bogden who was prosecuting
"Operation Crazy Horse," and reportedly looking at city hall
connections to Rizzolo through
Mayor Oscar Goodman, ex-mayor Jan Jones, ex-councilman Michael
McDonald, and attorney Jay Brown who is a business
partner of Senator Reid.
Now Bogden's replacements are
doing the opposite of their predecessor. It appears they're trying
to help those who have connections in Washington DC.
Judge Dawson was appointed to the bench by Senator Reid, the business
partner of Jay Brown who was one of the Crazy Horse attorneys.
Brown is also the law partner of LV Mayor Oscar Goodman who was once
Rizzolo's criminal defense attorney. Both Brown and Goodman once served
, and Goodman for a two year period was forced
to recuse on
all items involving the Crazy Horse because of these associations.
Now after making one of the most
questionable commercial loans in banking history, Security Pacific Bank
of California -- after learning their client had hidden their $5
million, and that the asset he used to secure the loan had been seized
by the government -- say they didn't know in
advance that their client was a crook.
At an abbreviated hearing held last Friday, Stan Hunterton the attorney
for the Henry family told the court, "Not
since Tony Spilotro has there been as notorious a hoodlum as Rick
Rizzolo. For the bank to say they didn't know is farcical."
He continued," Give us time for a hearing. Don't rely on an affidavit
from some negligent loan officer, some bank executive who, Lord knows
why, decided to made this loan."
Hunterton's statement was in response to a MOTION by attorneys for
Security Pacific Bank that was enjoined by Nevada's US Attorneys
pleading the bank was not aware of Rizzolo's legal problems before they
granted the loan.
This, after the bank's loan committee
was fully informed
days before funding
that their applicant was facing federal
indictments for racketeering, and less than a year after Dateline NBC
aired a 30 minute
segment on crimes at the Crazy Horse Too.
The bank admitted in their MOTION,
and the US Attorneys agreed in their JOINDER, that the material I
provided was carefully studied in time to squelch the loan, but the
material was completely ignored because of who sent it.
I know the bank was informed well in advance. I was the one who sent
the bank a package of information
that should have given them a heads up in time to reconsider gifting
million of their investor's dollars to someone who had no intention of
paying it back.
Now that their money's in jeopardy, Security Pacific's attorneys are
blaming Steve Miller for their problems, and the US Attorneys for
agreeing with them!
Their claim according to the bank's MOTION is: "We also researched the
background of the author of
many of the most derogatory Internet articles we had found, a person
named Steve Miller. We determined that Miller owned the land on which a
competing adult club was located, which we viewed as providing a
potential incentive for him to attack Rizzolo and the Crazy Horse Too.
We also received information from the borrower's representatives
indicating that in 2003 Miller settled a libel suit brought by Rizzolo
against Miller for $62,000."
Based on this "background" provided by Rizzolo's "representative," mob
attorney Tony Sgro, Security Pacific Bank threw out hundreds of Las
Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Review Journal, KLAS TV, KTNV TV, KVBC TV, MSNBC
and NBC News
provided to them, and blindly granted Rizzolo the
loan -- something Federal Bank Examiners may find of interest.
Forget about me. The bank took the word of a mob lawyer over the work
product of dozens of investigative journalists!
As a point of information, Rizzolo sued me for libel in 2000 after I
began writing about his racketeering activity, and my
insurance company paid him $62,000 to drop his suit. Insurance
companies do that sort of thing to save legal fees without the
consent of the insured. However, my racketeering allegations were
confirmed in 2006 when Rizzolo's corporation pleaded guilty to
Mr. Sgro provided "background" that should've never been taken
seriously, and now the bank is paying the price.
Otherwise, I derive no percentage of revenues from the tenant that
leases my land, and his
upscale clientele wouldn't be caught dead (no pun intended) in a
I supplied Security Pacific Bank these Internet links on October 30,
Giving Mr. Sgro the benefit of the doubt that I provided unverifiable
information and rumor based on my purported conflicts of interest, the
bank's loan committee still
excluded every article I sent written by veteran investigative
journalists more skilled than myself. Writers and reporters with no
supposed ax to grind. Therefore there was no excuse for the bank to
blow $5 million dollars on such a flaky loan with so much factual
information at hand. Their "shoot the messenger" defense just
doesn't hold water.
But that may be a moot point.
US Attorney Hollingsworth on Friday announced for the umpteenth time
that the Crazy Horse has a buyer willing to pay $30 million dollars!
Hollingsworth told the judge that he
is very hopeful -- again -- that the sale will close within 30 days.
That said, Judge Pro temporarily ruled that the MOTION filed by
Security Pacific and the JOINDER filed by the US Attorneys are moot --
unless the sale falls through.
Judge Pro ruled that, based on
Hollingsworth's hope-filled reannouncement, the court will
hold all MOTIONS until the sale closes.
Judge Pro then asked
Hollingsworth for more information on the sale and was told that a down
payment would be deposited in 15 days, with an additional 15 days
allocated for the buyer to do his due diligence and find the rest
Upon hearing this, Judge Pro stated
that if the sale closes, "All of them will be paid," referring to
the Henrys, IRS, Buffalo Jim Barrier, City of Las Vegas, State of
Nevada, and others who have claims against Rizzolo. "If a sale takes
place all MOTIONS will be mooted," stated Judge Pro in hopeful
anticipation of finding an equitable solution to this protracted case.
Hollingsworth closed by stating that
the court will have to approve any sale before the Plaintiffs receive
This is the fifth time in the history
of this case that Hollingsworth gleefully announced that the Crazy
Horse has been sold for a price in excess of $30 million.
After the hearing, I left the court
with sincere hope that someone not associated with organized crime does
purchase the Crazy Horse, and that Kirk Henry will receive full
financial compensation for his pain and suffering without having to try
to locate and attach Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's hidden personal assets,
though money will never adequately compensate for all the damage the
Rizzolos have caused.
Faraci reportedly back in Vegas adult business
Recently released from prison,
Bonnono crime family member and former Crazy Horse manager Vinny Faraci is reportedly back in full force
operating another Vegas strip club.
Faraci hired Mayor Oscar
Goodman's law partner David Chesnoff
to try to sneak an item on to the County
Commission's Consent Agenda that would have granted him a liquor
license without a public hearing.
Hundreds of Consent Agenda items are usually approved in one vote
discussion, so this could have slipped by had I not been tipped off and
authored the April 30, 2007 INSIDE VEGAS column, "Faraci
Secretly Applies for a County Liquor License."
Included in the column was the following agenda item that blew a lot of
minds in local government circles. A known mobster was applying for a
liquor license from his cell in the Federal Penitentiary, and no one
supposed to know. Only in Vegas!
Following my column, Chesnoff wisely withdrew his
But according to several reliable
sources, Vinny, through his sister Phyllis, is happily back in the
business secretly operating Eden,
a topless bar on Valley View Blvd. near the Rio -- and the FBI is
closely monitoring his activities.
Vinny was one of those handed a feather
light sentence by Judge Dawson. Faraci was convicted
of participating in the criminal
activity that resulted in the closure and forfeiture of the Crazy Horse
Too, but he served only a minimal 5 months in prison even after Assistant
U.S. Attorney Eric Johnson contended at his sentencing that Faraci
condoned beatings at the Crazy Horse, and the
New York Crime Commission confirmed Faraci's mob status according to Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith.
Neither Vinny Faraci nor his sister are
listed as owners of Eden in
the files of the
Nevada Secretary of State.
Records indicate that PSN-NV, LLC is managed by Paul Anderson and
Christian Moore, but the stockholders are not required to be listed per
Rick Rizzolo is also suspected of
having hidden ownership in Eden. Rizzolo is scheduled to be released
from Federal Prison on March 4.
Copyright © Steve Miller