Indicted - Again!
His alleged daughter says
he went back into
the strip club business
after promising not to
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 14, 2014
LAS VEGAS - Just when we thought we'd heard
the last of fallen strip club owner Rick Rizzolo, he gets indicted for
income tax evasion for the second time in a decade. As indicated in the
2007 INSIDE VEGAS photo by Mike Christ used this week by CBS Las Vegas,
VEGAS has consistently been reporting the antics of Rizzolo for quite a
(The late Buffalo
Jim Barrier's untimely death the day following Rizzolo's first release
from prison is memorialized in this haunting
The latest indictment stems from a long
list of broken conditions Rizzolo agreed to comply with in his 2007 plea
agreement, including not being permitted to own or operate or have any
involvement with any strip clubs. Rizzolo was the prior owner of the Crazy
Horse Too strip clubs in Las Vegas and Philadelphia.
According to the Associated Press, "A
former Las Vegas strip club owner who served prison time for a federal
tax evasion conviction seven years ago has been indicted again on charges
he tried to evade paying more than $2.5 million in taxes from 2006 - 2011.
Federal agents arrested Rick Rizzolo
Wednesday after a grand jury indicted him on two counts of attempt to evade
and defeat payment of employment and income taxes. He's scheduled to make
an initial court appearance before a U.S. magistrate in Las Vegas Thursday.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
The indictment accuses Rizzolo of trying to evade paying taxes he owned
for 2000, 2002 and 2006 by lying to the Internal Revenue Service and hiding
funds and property in the names of others."
On Thursday, July 10, after he spent the
night in the Clark County Detention Center, Rizzolo and his attorney Sigal
Chattah appeared in Las Vegas Federal Court before U.S. Magistrate Judge
Nancy Koppe and pleaded not guilty. Judge Koppe ordered Rizzolo released
on his own recognizance with several conditions including surrendering
his passport and not leaving Nevada.
Judge Koppe set his trial for Sept. 15.
latest attorney, Israeli born Sigal Chattah (left), is expected to argue
the same failed argument at trial this time as attorneys for Rick, Lisa,
and Kimtran Rizzolo argued in the past; that Rick has long claimed
he had offers for the Las Vegas club of between thirty and forty-five million
dollars while it was operating. She is expected to repeat a mantra consistently
by the U.S. Federal Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, that
had the club been sold (to a Rizzolo associate) prior to being shut down,
he would have had ample money to pay his taxes, but the government was
somehow responsible for thwarting his efforts, and the property ended up
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 allegedly 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
Another bone of contention is that Rizzolo
resumed hidden ownership in one or more Las Vegas strip clubs after his
first and second release from prison. If so, he was in violation of his
2007 plea agreement.
In a January 23, 2007 Press
Release from the United States Attorney's Office District of Nevada,
Rizzolo's former and present Federal Prosecutor Eric Johnson stated: "As
part of Rizzolo's conditions of supervised release and pursuant to his
plea agreement, Rizzolo is not permitted to own or operate or have any
involvement with any strip clubs or similar businesses involved in pornography
or erotic entertainment or media in the United States and its territories
for the rest of his life."
However, that condition of his supervised
release is totally contradicted by the Nov. 6, 2009 unverified statement
on YouTube by
Ericka Lockett who purports to be Rizzolo's daughter: "My dad has
watched his strip club go down in the dumps. The FBI took it away from
him, and he rebuilt a new club and its going good from what I understand
and what I hear."
Click on image, then dial
in 3:20 seconds for remarks about Rick Rizzolo's new strip club
It's unknown whether Ms. Lockett will be
called as a witness on September 15, but few believe that her purported
father will fare as well at trial this time as he has in the past.
BACKGROUND on Rick Rizzolo:
Canada Free Press
BACKGROUND on Buffalo Jim Barrier: