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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:

Scammed Again!
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
May 12, 2003

         Fred "Rick" Rizzolo
  Owner of the Crazy Horse Too

On Friday May 9, I received the following E-mail. The person sending the message asked not to be identified because he feared "bodily injury," therefore I have changed the dates, times, and amounts of the charges slightly to protect his identity. However, this complaint alleges a crime that took place within the past ninety days.

            Dear Mr. Miller, I request anonymity due to my personal safety. Here is a copy of a formal complaint I just registered with my credit card company:

To Whom It May Concern:
Formal Complaint:
(within past 90 days), 2003
(credit card name)
Dispute of credit card charges:
Dispute Department
Warning of bodily injury:
Fraud Department
Cardmember Services
Re: Crazy Horse Too Gentleman's Club
2476 South Industrial Rd.
Las Vegas, Nevada. 89102

           I am writing this letter as a formal documentation of the unfortunate experience I recently had on Saturday (date withheld), 2003 at the Crazy Horse Too Gentleman's Club. (Billed on my credit card as Power Company Inc. or Power Company CB)
           I have not been to Las Vegas for more than 15 years. I was passing through and stopped to visit a friend and take a break from my travels. He insisted on taking me out on the town for an evening of entertainment. I knew it was called "Sin City" but had no idea what I was in for.
            The evening began on Friday, (date withheld). We patronized multiple establishments via taxi and consumed more alcohol than I have had in many years. So far so good, but I knew it was time to go home. We arrived at the above mentioned establishment at approximately 9:00 am Saturday, (date withheld). I really didn't want to continue drinking any longer but he insisted that this would be our last stop and we would only stay a short time. I reluctantly went along with his request.
            We entered through the front door and were greeted by 2 young blonde ladies. We were seated and ordered a couple of drinks. They immediately asked if we would like to purchase a lap dance with our drinks. We agreed to start a tab and I gave the barmaid my credit card. After a couple of lap dances the blonde I was with began to proposition me with various sexual favors and hourly rates. Before I knew it I had been offered, and agreed to, 24 hours of time with her for $1,300.00 She said we could do anything I wanted, sex front and back, blow jobs anything for 24 hours. She left for a few minuets and returned with another lady. This lady was Asian and went by the name of (withheld). Before I knew it, the second lady was in on the same deal for another $1,300.00, only she proposed 48 hours.
            The three of us went to the front desk and began a lengthy paperwork process, approximately 40 minutes. There was a Russian blonde cashier behind the counter that had my credit card and another Russian lady dancer sitting in a chair next to the counter in front. The 2 dancers I was with were making a big scene. The Asian actually had her hand down my pants, holding my penis and proudly announced that we were going to go " F - - ky S - - ky" for 48 hours. I told the Asian I had to find my friend. She said, "no forget him, we both do you good, we don't want him with us".
            It was well known by all in attendance at the front desk that this deal was for 2 girls, 48 hours, anything goes. I have never been in a situation like this before, but this was Las Vegas.
            During this period of time I began to wonder why it was taking so long to process this transaction. Needless to say I was on my last leg after a full night on the town. I asked the girls where we would be going for the next 48 hours. The Asian said "downstairs." I asked "here in this building?" She said "yes, here in this building downstairs." The other lady confirmed the Asian's response. Again there were at least four employees that heard and witnessed all of this. I later learned there is no downstairs.
            As the foolery and distractions continued, I was presented with paperwork to sign periodically. Photo copies of my drivers license and credit card were taken and I had to give a thumb print. It was all just informal documentation they said, and in my condition I honestly couldn't read the fine print. I was only concerned about the final charge slip I was so patiently waiting to sign. Eventually I was presented with a credit card charge slip showing $2,600.00. Before signing the charge slip I confirmed one more time that this deal was for 2 ladies for 48 hours. I even began to write that on the paperwork but was told to stop, I couldn't do that.
            Finally we were done with the paperwork. The only charged amount I saw during this time was for $2,600.00. I also asked for copies of all paperwork but was denied that request. The cashier directly handed the 2 ladies a hand full of "Crazy Bucks," fake money that unknowingly to me, was mine to spend however I wish. They both said they had to use the bathroom first before we go downstairs and encouraged me to do the same. The phrase was "Freshen Up." So we all went to the bathroom.
            I found my friend and told him what was going on. He followed me to the front desk. When we returned to the front desk within 5 minutes, expecting to meet them, they never showed up. We never saw them again. I immediately asked the cashier for a refund. She said she couldn't do that. I said "but you have to, you just witnessed this entire scam and you know that I didn't get what I paid for." Again she said no. I asked to see the Manager. His name is (withheld). I explained what had just taken place and a few of the witnesses and employees confirmed my story. I insisted on a refund. He said no but come back tomorrow and we'll take care of you. No words can describe the feeling I had.
              It was at this time that another lady dancer showed up. She had witnessed part of this ordeal and felt sorry for me. We began to talk and I explained how angry and deceived I felt. We spent some time together just talking, no lap dances, as I refused to put out any more money. She knew how I felt and warned me not to make trouble with the management, that they would not tolerate any verbal abuse or deal with disputes. It could be dangerous.
            She said "you've just been scammed, and there's nothing you can do about it now." She also explained that because I signed all the paperwork, gave a thumb print and they had photo copies of my drivers license and credit card, it would be very difficult to dispute these charges on my credit card. She knew the whole story because it happens a lot! Again she felt sorry for me but said if I don't spend money on her, the management would make her leave me. I refused and they did. I never saw her again.
           I spent some time alone wondering how I got myself into this huge mess. I couldn't believe what had just taken place. It's so out of character for me to allow something like this to happen. I was definitely feeling the effects of a long evening! At some point I gathered my thoughts and tried not to let it ruin what had been a good night.
            Eventually that day I learned that my credit card was maxed out. I was shocked because I knew I had about $7,000.00 credit on that card before I walked in this "Shit Hole." I found my friend who said a friend of his was coming to get us and take us home. We waited for a while and I passed out in a chair. Before leaving at about 5:30 pm, I again made a desperate attempt to calmly and rationally request a refund for my $2,600.00 at the front desk with another manager named (withheld). The cashier said "Oh it's a lot more than $2,600.00." The manager (name withheld) said "dispute it with your credit card company" and walked away.
            Needless to say I was speechless. Considering the warning I was given earlier, I decided not to make a scene as we left for home.
           After a long sleep, Sunday, (date withheld) at 8:00 am I contacted my credit card company. I was shocked to hear that I had $6,500.00 worth of charges to my account! I began the disputing process right then. I learned that $6,500.00 of these charges to my account took place Saturday, (date withheld) between 11:00 am and 11:45 am, exactly the time that I was at the front desk with the 2 ladies, wondering what was taking so long, eventually signing papers and preparing for 48 hours of "anything goes."
            I now realized that the time spent at the front desk with all the distractions and foolery taking place was all part of the game. They swiped my card and I signed paperwork, they swiped my card again and I signed paperwork, and they swiped my card a third time and I signed paperwork not knowing that each time I signed paperwork it was for a large amount of money not disclosed to me that I now assume was hidden in these documents.
            I was only shown the one normal looking credit card receipt to sign for $2,600. Then to have them leave and never return? What a total scam! I don't care what documents I signed or how much I paid, I didn't get the service I paid for, which I now know is illegal at this location. They clearly took advantage of someone who was just passing through town from out of state, who had been out all night on the town drinking and having fun. I now strongly believe that the cashier, all the ladies, the managers and owners are all in on this game of deception and fraud. Not to mention the possibility of bodily injury.
           Credit card activity on (date withheld), 2003 by Power Company Inc. or Power Company CB is as follows: 9:45 am: $150.00 Authorized, 10:20 am: $1,500.00 Authorized, 10:55 am: $2,900.00 Authorized, 11: 00 am: $2,540.00 Declined, 11:12 am: $2,400.00 Authorized, 1:14 pm: $560.00 Declined, one more for $435.25 using a manual processing machine. The last charge was for a $234.00 purchase. After signing the receipt, a $320.00 tip was written in by someone other than me. Looking closely, it appears that whoever wrote the original charge is not the same person that wrote in the tip for $320.00. The handwriting is different.
          I also researched the Internet and found an amazing story about this establishment and some of the other victims in the past, one of which was not as lucky as me. Please find this ( story attached.
           After contacting my credit card company and finding the story on the Internet, I reported this to the FBI Fraud Department in Las Vegas, Nevada. I made an appointment to meet with them on Monday, (date withheld). I gave them my story to the best of my abilities and they explained the ongoing criminal investigation and that there is a Federal Grand Jury involved as well. I have been told to expect a court ordered subpoena to testify in front of the Grand Jury and that I am now a Federal Witness to this investigation and protected by the laws that govern it.
           I am formally requesting and strongly urging that $6,500.00 be credited back to my account immediately and a formal investigation into this matter be pursued by (credit card bank) in conjunction with the FBI Fraud Department in Las Vegas, Nevada. I will only assume $423.15 of these charges on my account. And even that is excessive considering the nature of this issue.
           I will swear under oath with God as my witness that this is a true story to the best of my abilities. Thank you for your prompt, aggressive attention to this matter.

(name withheld)

This story is not the first if its kind and indicates that the Crazy Horse Too learned little from an event that occurred at 5 AM on Thursday, February 20, 2003. On that morning, 80 agents from the FBI, DEA and IRS, with guns drawn, removed cash registers, files, video surveillance equipment, computers, and unidentified materials from the Crazy Horse Too topless bar in Las Vegas.

Fred "Rick" Rizzolo, the purported owner of the converted warehouse bar located in a seedy industrial neighborhood west of the Vegas Strip, has long been suspected of being a front man for Chicago mob figures who may have hidden ownership in the business. Of the many charges alleged against Rizzolo and his business, credit card fraud and coercion such as described above are at the top of the list.

Copyright © Steve Miller

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