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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:

Rizzolo Is Getting Special Treatment
Beating victim's attorneys file Motion to revoke
parole, and mobster tries to play the race card

Brother of U.S. Judge may be involved in money laundering

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
September 13, 2010

LAS VEGAS - Attorneys for unpaid beating victim Kirk Henry went to Federal Court last Thursday to ask that convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo's parole either be revoked or extended because he is living a lavish lifestyle while concealing his fortune from seizure by the IRS and Henry.

In their 20 page MOTION, former Federal Prosecutors Stanley Hunterton and Donald Campbell who are now in private practice representing Henry told the court: "It is undisputed that Rick Rizzolo's actions bear the indicia of tax fraud despite his prior felony conviction and incarceration for the same crime. Moreover, not only does this pattern of fraudulent behavior validate the Henry's pending civil claims, but it also warrants the revocation or extension of Rick Rizzolo's terms of supervision and restriction of his ability to move his assets."

In exchange for a feather light one year prison sentence, Rizzolo ( photo by Mike Christ) plea bargained that he would pay all his debts including $9 million he still owes Henry who suffered a broken neck in 2001 at the hands of one of Rizzolo's bar employees while arguing over a disputed $88 bar tab.

The responsibility of overseeing Rizzolo's payment schedule was placed in the hands of the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation who have totally dropped the ball.

Rizzolo was the owner of the now closed Crazy Horse Too strip club. The club was subsequently seized by the government after Rizzolo plead guilty to racketeering that included the intimidation or beating up of club patrons who refused to sign for inflated credit card charges.

The key to why Rizzolo is being allowed to get away with what would have certainly sent a less politically connected person back to prison may be whom he choose to be his "asset protection" attorney.

Attorney John Dawson coincidentally is the brother of United States Federal Court Judge Kent Dawson who coincidentally was appointed for life by U.S. Senator Harry Reid who coincidentally is the business partner of Jay Brown who coincidentally was Rizzolo's former corporate agent and attorney who USA Today described as; "...a longtime friend and former casino lawyer whose name surfaced in a major political bribery trial this summer and in other prior organized crime investigations. He's never been charged with wrongdoing except for a 1981 federal securities complaint that was settled out of court."  The Washington Post has also written about Brown; "...whose name has surfaced in federal investigations involving organized crime."

      John Dawson               Kent Dawson                       Harry Reid                           Jay Brown

In Thursday's MOTION, Kirk Henry's attorneys explain what happened to the Rizzolo's fortune and why it's safely beyond the reach of the IRS and Henry:  "...Rick Rizzolo and his wife Lisa retained attorney John E. Dawson, Esq. for what they euphemistically referred to as 'estate planning.'  In reality, Rick Rizzolo engaged Mr. Dawson to create a complex web of trusts, corporate entities, and partnerships for the purpose of asset protection."

The MOTION then states: "Mr. Dawson recommended the use of an offshore trust because it would 'provide a second layer of asset protection.' He also recommended that Rick Rizzolo transfer certain funds to this offshore trust because 'in the event a U.S. Judge froze any of [his] assets, the funds in the Oppenheimer Account would be totally protected and would not be subject to being frozen.' "

Attorney Dawson's mention of a "U.S. Judge" freezing Rizzolo's assets is ironic because John Dawson's brother Kent was the presiding U.S. Judge in the felony trials of sixteen Crazy Horse Too employees.

Judge Dawson went real easy on the sixteen former Crazy Horse goons after they pleaded guilty to crimes including racketeering, tax evasion, robbery, and extortion, this after Federal Prosecutors asked for harsh sentences, and after a member of the New York Crime Commission testified about several of the defendant's mob ties.

During all sixteen trials, Judge Dawson failed to disclose that his brother was being paid tens of thousands of dollars to transfer the Rizzolo's liquid assets to the Cook Islands.

Based on this obvious conflict of interests, it's long been suspected that other U.S. Judges in the Las Vegas Federal Court system are going out of their way to not embarrass a colleague, and subsequently stalling this case until Mr. Henry (KVBC TV News photo) dies of his injuries, or the case can be settled out of court with no media scrutiny of the Dawson connection.

If so, Rizzolo's hiring of the brother of a U.S. Judge was a stroke of genius!

Or were there unseen hands at work making sure the penalties imposed on Rizzolo would never be officially enforced? Remember, Rizzolo's former attorney and corporate agent's name surfaced in a major political bribery trial.

Nonetheless, I still can't figure out why the Internal Revenue Service has not taken independent action against the Rizzolos who owe in excess of $6 million dollars in back taxes, penalties, and interest?

Maybe that's the underlying reason Kirk Henry's attorneys filed their latest MOTION? To try to get the IRS involved so Henry's long-stalled Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA) case could be forced to move forward.

On page 154 of Rizzolo's Deposition, he states that he paid John Dawson $80,000 for services (possibly including money laundering) since May 2001. (See "PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL" letter below).

Kirk Henry's neck was broken in 2001, and Rizzolo got out of prison over two and a half years ago, but in the nine years since Henry filed his lawsuit, no one other than mob lawyers have received a dime. Henry's attorneys are working on contingency and so far have received a total of only $6,000 in court ordered legal fees paid by Rizzolo. Rizzolo's lawyers have so far received over one-half million dollars in legal fees from the racketeer and his ex-wife.

According to Henry's legal team, the parole officers entrusted with ensuring that Rizzolo pays his creditors may be "unwilling" to fulfill their duties.

After Rizzolo disclosed on page 281 of his Deposition that John Dawson transferred over $1.1 million dollars into the Rizzolo's local bank accounts since Rizzolo was placed on parole, and that Rick Rizzolo felt he did not need to disclose this information to his parole officer Eric Christiansen or the IRS, Henry's attorneys responded with the strongly worded MOTION asking the court to revoke Rizzolo's parole and send him back to prison before his parole expires in April 2011, or before he transfers anymore funds.

At the same time, Rizzolo's ex-wife received over $600,000 from her and her ex-husband's overseas stash which she also admitted to not reporting on her tax returns.

The latest MOTION states: "Rick Rizzolo is a convicted felon on supervised release who owes millions of dollars in restitution to the victims of his crimes. Nonetheless, he was allowed (emphasis added) to engage in massive financial transactions for his own benefit, at the expense of his victims, despite the fact that he is expressly prohibited from doing so under his conditions of supervised release (emphasis added). Incredibly, Rick Rizzzolo even had the audacity not to file a tax return in 2008 or 2009 because he 'didn't make any money.' "

"Simply put, Rick Rizzolo does not lead the life of an ex-convict who owes millions of dollars to the Henrys and the Government. Indeed, by effectively disregarding his restitution obligations and conditions of supervised release without consequence (emphasis added), Rick Rizzolo has been allowed (emphasis added) to live as if his transgressions over the past decade never occurred. The following details of Rick Rizzolo's post-release behavior demonstrate a stunning lack of oversight  into his behavior along with a complete failure to enforce the penalties imposed on him as a result of his criminal conviction (emphasis added)," stated Kirk Henry's attorneys on page 9 and 10 of their MOTION.

Henry's attorneys enforce their point by stating: "He never disclosed any of the subsequent transactions to his probation officer even though he was ordered to do so. In addition, Rick Rizzolo never disclosed any of these transactions to the Internal Revenue Service. More importantly, Rick Rizzolo did not attempt to use this vast sum of money to meet his restitution obligations to the Henrys."

"...he has also ignored the express strictures governing his supervised release and the Department of Parole and Probation is either unwilling or powerless to do anything about it (emphasis added)." "Nevertheless, the Government has taken no action to enforce Rick Rizzolo's conditions of supervised release (emphasis added) pertaining to the consummation of financial transactions."

On page 308 of Rizzolo's August 18 Deposition, Rizzolo attorney Dominic Gentile states: "I think his name is Mastrangeli" in reference to the name of Parole Officer Eric Christiansen's supervisor.

Supervisor Mastrangeli's naming may be consequential because Rizzolo had often blamed his legal problems on his own Italian heritage.

On page 97 of his Deposition, Rizzolo stated "I was Italian...." when asked "...what was your view of why you were of such interest to the FBI that they had been looking at you for 20 years?"

And when asked; "And what do you base that on?"

Rizzolo replied; "Because I was never doing anything, so I don't know what else they'd be looking at me for"

If Rick Rizzolo can convince the court that bias against Italians is why the government expended hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to investigate, prosecute, and convict him, and close the Crazy Horse Too, I can also use the race card to rationalize that a government official with an Italian surname might be sympathetic to Rizzolo's bias claim and let him ignore his conditions of supervised release in an act of reverse discrimination.

On page 73 of Rizzolo's Deposition, he says he sold a number of valuable Rolex, Cartier, and Paiget watches to his late father and a local jeweler in order to raise cash to cover living expenses. He said he did not report the sales to his parole officer or the IRS.

I sure hope I'm wrong, but with the unexplainable special treatment Rick Rizzolo is receiving, it would not be a surprise if one or more public officials who appear to be protecting him suddenly turn up wearing a flashy diamond studded Rolex, Cartier, or Paiget watch.

And they say the mob left Vegas years ago...


Rick Rizzolo's entire August 17 & 18, 2010 DEPOSITION: Pg. 1-48, Pg. 49-100, Pg. 103-170, Pg. 173-256, Pg. 257-311

Rick's best friend Fred Doumani's entire August 17, 2010 DEPOSITION

Lisa Rizzolo's May 12, 2009 DEPOSITION: Pg. 29-169, Pg. 170-261 (some pages omitted by mutual consent of parties)

          Evidence expected to be used in court re: fraudulent conversion of funds (UFTA)


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