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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:


with the IRS, United States Attorney, U.S. Office
of Parole & Probation, and a Federal Court Judge


INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
May 9, 2011

LAS VEGAS - He has an IRS Lien ordering him to pay at least $11,973,440 in back taxes, penalties, and interest, and he has an unpaid debt to a beating victim of over $9 million dollars.

Rick Rizzolo and his ex-wife Lisa (not yet charged with a crime) secretly stashed tens of millions in cash and assets in the Cook Islands right in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit and three weeks before beginning plea negotiations where Rick agreed to pay all his debts in exchange for an abbreviated prison sentence. But on February 22, 2011, photographer Mike Christ caught Rizzolo nonchalantly lighting up a cigarette while leaving Federal Court as if he didn't have a care in the world while his spiritual advisor Father Dave Casaleggio walked two steps behind.

At 9 AM on Monday, May 9, in Courtroom 8-A of the United States Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas, Rick Rizzolo may be in for the shock of his life. At that time, U.S. Judge Philip Pro who has served 26 years on the Nevada federal bench is expected to decide whether to abide by the recommendations of Rizzolo's Probation Officer Eric Christiansen and U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden to send the convicted racketeer back to prison and extend his term of supervised release another three years. According to Christiansen's PETITION (below), there's plenty of reason to follow such a recommendation.

Rizzolo reportedly continues to live a lavish lifestyle, has failed to pay beating victim Kirk Henry one cent of the $9 million he's still owed in restitution, and since getting out of prison in April 2008, resides rent free in a $4 million dollar mansion in Roma Hills just outside Las Vegas. All this in violation of his terms of supervised release, a program that's about to expire unless Judge Pro applies the law on May 9.

Many ordinary citizens are still feeling the sting from the April 18, 2011 tax deadline. But the Rizzolo's have been thumbing their noses at our nation's tax laws while living off their untouchable Cook Islands bounty that was derived from the racketeering enterprise Rick conducted for years at his now-defunct Crazy Horse Too strip club.

During those years, Rick and Lisa Rizzolo were a married couple. During her marriage she lived a high life, and continues to live lavishly off her husband's highly profitable criminal activities.

Since Rick Rizzolo cut a deal with the feds back in 2005 -- three weeks after his questionable divorce and two years before his strip club was seized by the government -- this case has gained national attention for making a mockery of the IRS and Nevada Federal Court system.

Today, Lisa is a divorced woman who was gifted tens of millions of dollars by her husband in what has been referred to as a "sham" divorce, and she steadfastly claims she is not responsible to pay for her ex-husband's back taxes, restitution, and other court ordered obligations even though they were married while those obligations were amassed, and Nevada is a Community Property state. Since the divorce, Rick is often seen coming and going from Lisa's Canyon Gate Country Club estate.

Rick Rizzolo has admitted cheating on his taxes since at least 2000, and has since shredded the evidence. His ex-wife used the excuse "I didn't fill out these forms" when asked why she didn't declare her overseas bank accounts. Kirk Henry's neck was broken by a Crazy Horse Too manager in September 2001. The Rizzolos divorced in 2005. Judge Pro has had this case on his calendar since May 2006. The Rizzolo's ill-gotten fortune continues to remain in a Cook Islands bank out of the reach of creditors.

Many believe that Rick Rizzolo has an angel in the federal government who is protecting him from suffering the same fate anyone else would suffer for similar legal transgressions.

Someone is obviously playing a Monopoly game during this drawn out case.  Is it Judge Pro? The United States Attorney? The IRS? The U.S. Department of Parole and Probation? Or does the Rizzolo's politically connected asset protection lawyer have untoward influence with unseen hands in the U.S. Department of Justice?

How else could this case drag on for so long?

It's a roll of the dice whether Rick and Lisa Rizzolo and their "asset protection" attorney John Dawson -- the brother of Federal Judge Kent Dawson -- will be allowed to pass go and keep the prize money.

Or on May 9, Judge Pro may follow the recommendations of the U.S. Attorney and U.S. Office of Parole and Probation and tell Rick Rizzolo to go directly to jail.  If so, for how long? And soon thereafter, will Lisa Rizzolo and those who aided and abetted her be indicted for conspiracy? Even if Rick is incarcerated for a few months, it's obvious that the IRS and Henry will continue to go unpaid until Lisa is brought into the mix and the court forces her to repatriate the Cook Islands stash, or go to prison.

If this happens, John Dawson may find himself as a co-defendant, and this could become an embarrassment for his brother the Federal Judge (the reason many believe this case has dragged on for so long).

According to a January 23, 2007 self-congratulatory News Release issued by United States Attorney Daniel Bogden: "The Court also took important steps toward ensuring Kirk Henry and his family received through our justice system, the restitution they need to cope and deal with the brutal and tragic attack Crazy Horse Too employees inflicted upon Kirk Henry in September 2001. In rendering its sentence, the Court took particular care to note in the context of its 26 years on the Nevada federal bench, the 'enormity' of the financial responsibilities defendants assumed as part of their sentences as negotiated by our office as part of their plea agreements."

Three years after the News Release, Rizzolo had refused to pay anyone a dime. So on December 3, 2010, the same U.S. Attorney filed this less-than-optimistic statement:

"...the 'enormity' of the financial responsibilities"?

"...promoted public respect for the law"?

So far, only hollow words have been spoken by the government, and the court hearings continue ad nauseam.

Editor's note: Rizzolo's Final Arguments Hearing set for June 14
After four full days of testimony, U.S. Judge Philip Pro scheduled a final hearing for June 14 so attorneys for Rick Rizzolo, and attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice can argue why Rizzolo's parole should or should not be extended and he be incarcerated for an additional period of time for violations of his terms of supervised release. At the upcoming hearing, attorneys for unpaid beating victim Kirk Henry will also be allowed to address the court.

During the hearings held on May 9, 10, and 11, testimony was taken from Kim Tran Rizzolo, widow of Rick's father Bart Rizzolo, and from John E. Dawson, the Rizzolo's asset protection attorney.


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