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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:

Taxpayers paying to keep
lights and telephones on
at defunct topless bar

The Feds are Beating a dead horse,
Mayor promotes porn film studios,
and Bart Rizzolo's "reputation"

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
January 14, 2008
LAS VEGAS - In 2006, Bart Rizzolo (below right) and his son Rick (below left) through their corporation "The Power Company, Inc." pleaded guilty to racketeering and tax evasion at their family's former topless bar the Crazy Horse Too. Following their convictions, the United States of America seized the bar, its contents, and real estate.
In 2007, the Las Vegas City Council ordered Bart to not step foot on the Crazy Horse property.
In spite of their order, he was seen looting the Crazy Horse Too of properties seized by the United States of America; shredding tons of seized documents; and was present during tours of the property given to prospective buyers by C.B. Richard Ellis Realty, a company hired by the federal government to market the property at top dollar.
In November 2007, Bart attempted to run over Buffalo Jim Barrier. Judge Deborah Lippis issued a RESTRAINING ORDER prohibiting Bart (again) from being on the Crazy Horse property when Barrier is present in his adjacent garage.

This is making it very difficult for C.B. Richard Ellis agents to market the property. I've been told that Bart's presence during tours is requested so he can tell the prospective buyers how much money his racketeering practices generated. If buyers are seriously considering Bart's description of how to make a profit, then it's also obvious they are considering a resumption of Bart's methods -- something the feds should scorn instead of embrace before more heads are bashed in or necks broken. But thanks to Barrier's RESTRAINING ORDER, they'll have to hear from Bart over cell phones during day tours, or do their walk throughs between 8 PM and 8 AM when Barrier is off the property.

After the Las Vegas City Council fined Rizzolo $2.3 million dollars for admitting to racketeering, he appealed the fine in Clark County District Court. At the hearing, his friend criminal defense attorney Dominic Gentile (above center) appeared as a character witness.
The judge was so impressed that he lowered the fine to only $1 million, but Rizzolo refused to pay.

Now Gentile is threatening to take legal action against Barrier for purportedly causing damage to Rizzolo's father's "reputation." In doing so, Gentile inadvertently exposed his prestigious new law partners Gerald Gordon and Jeffrey Silver to his Mob associations, a group they were never before known to have connections with.

Below is Mr. Gentile's amazing letter to Barrier on behalf of his admitted racketeer client. 

Immediately after receiving the letter via USPS & E-MAIL, Barrier's attorneys filed a second RESTRAINING ORDER for his safety.

Based on Barrier's two Restraining Orders, Bart has been unable to give daytime tours. Why U.S. Marshals allowed such a person to accompany potential buyers is still a mystery?

It's no secret that Barrier and this writer strongly feel it would be a great public service for the government to raze the building and put an end to this nonsense just as the feds did under similar circumstances to the Gold Club in Atlanta. This is the only way to put an end to what happened to beating victims Kirk Henry and Scott Fau. If not, with Bart Rizzolo's help to sell the club at top dollar, it's more than obvious the new owner will opt to continue the obscenely profitable methods Bart's family used to become filthy rich, and more Kirk Henrys and and Scott Faus will suffer the consequences.

The only deterrent that has so far kept this from happening is Jim Barrier. A former pro wrestler, Barrier has never been intimidated by the Mob's next door presence. Barrier's garage has occupied the same space since 1976, and his lease runs until July 2009. At that time, Barrier anticipates moving to another location. When this occurs, and without his constant vigilance, the Mob will be free to resume bashing heads for profit, selling dope and prostitutes, and money laundering -- the Rizzolo's forte.

The bar's adult use zoning should have quietly expired on December 30, 2007, making this story unnecessary, but Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian as a favor to the Rizzolo family sponsored a custom designed ordinance at the eleventh hour in November to extend the time a non-conforming grandfathered use could remain dark and still maintain its privileged zoning. Thanks to Tarkanian's efforts, the Crazy Horse now has until June 30 to reopen.

When confronted about her favor, Lois told an INSIDE VEGAS source, "Please ask Steve not to publish this in Newport Beach. That's where all Jerry's friends live."

The Councilwoman was referring to her husband former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian who has a vacation home in Newport near that of Bart's imprisoned son Rick Rizzolo and many of his closest friends.

But based on recent events, even the Tarkanian's obvious favor might not help to keep the Crazy Horse alive. More later.

"He's very Industry friendly" to porno film makers
As if our city doesn't have enough problems, our mayor is encouraging porno film makers to relocate here according to XBIZ, the porn industry's official website. In the meantime, Las Vegas lacks diversification, and discourages clean high tech industry from relocating here because of his official actions and our town's lack of interest in higher education.
Most LV high school graduates are encouraged to go to trade school instead of a university because local blue collar jobs are more plentiful and pay more than most starting positions for those with degrees. Meanwhile, the casinos fight every effort to increase the gross gaming tax to pay for schools.
After reading the following article, it's easy to understand why our city has become such a one horse town.
Oscar B. Goodman
By David Houston
February 13, 2006

A few years ago, city lawmakers urged Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman to crack down on the legendary Crazy Horse Too, where they claimed prostitution was taking place. Instead, the mayor proposed the strip club be allowed to expand. Goodman also led an effort to lower the legal age for Vegas strippers from 21 to 18, figuring the city should "not make some big fuss as to what some 18-year-old girl is doing to make a living."
All of this and a proud habit of swilling gin and escorting Playboy Playmates around town has made Goodman America's favorite bad boy politician. And at a time when California lawmakers talk about enacting new regulations on the adult film industry, Goodman's actions have fueled speculation he might be gearing up to lure one of the San Fernando Valley's biggest economic engines to Las Vegas.
"We're an adult community, an adult playland," Goodman said not long ago. "Let's not pretend to be something we're not. I think anything that's legal should be here."
The mayor's position is good news for folks at the Free Speech Coalition, the adult industry's lobbying arm.
"He's very industry friendly," Tom Hymes, spokesman for the FSC, said of Goodman.

Not everybody is happy about what Goodman is doing.

Steve Miller, a former Las Vegas councilman and a persistent critic of the mayor, said what Goodman is doing "is immoral."

"Goodman welcomes everything that's distasteful elsewhere to come our city," Miller said. "With his lack of scruples, it would not surprise me to see him welcome porn studios to Las Vegas. Why not? He condones everything else that's legal without regard for public health and safety."

Goodman's response to his critics? "Get a life."


If there's ever been an example of a night club being
jinxed, this is it!

                  New Year's Eve 2004                                        New Year's Eve 2007

                                                Saturday Night, January 12, 2008

The building is infested with rats and scorpions, covered with graffiti, strewn with trash, and looks like a ghost town. Hundreds of lights are burned out and the homeless have taken over the parking lots behind the building and under the Sahara overpass. Even with Bart Rizzolo's exceptional janitorial skills, the place still looks like a toilet.

The word "SLUT" is spray painted across the crotch of the photo of a long gone dancer adjacent to the main entrance, along with other obscenities painted on the golden front doors.

Stick a fork in this blood and semen stained joint, its done!

But the federal government doesn't seem to understand and insists on keeping the lights and telephones on and paying for 24 hour armed security guards who pretend to guard the public's property while sleeping in their cars!

Meanwhile, the only business thriving on the property is owned by Rick Rizzolo's worst enemy, Buffalo Jim Barrier, whose auto garage is doing a record business.

At the same time in history while our federal government doesn't have the funds to secure our southern borders, they flaunt public funds trying to keep a shuttered topless bar's lights burning every night for over 6 1/2 months, or at least until Rick Rizzolo is released from prison on April 4, three days after April Fools Day.

The Feds are Beating a dead horse - again

Only in Nevada would a shut down titty bar be treated like a national treasure, and a convicted racketeer be treated like some kind of a hero at taxpayer expense!

But it's not the first time. After losing a tax fraud case in 1990, Joe Conforte's Mustang Ranch brothel was seized by the federal government. The feds soon failed in an attempt to run the brothel to pay Conforte’s back taxes. The government padlocked it and announced a sale. Joe Conforte fled the United States and moved to Brazil. The brothel was bought by a holding company (a front for Conforte) and reopened. The Brazil supreme court ruled in the same year that Conforte could not be extradited.

Coincidentally, every potential Crazy Horse buyer presented by C.B. Richard Ellis Realty to the U.S. Department of Justice has flaked out. All the while the market value of the entity creeps closer each day to the government's appraisal of $4.6 million as warehouse-only property. Even with Rick Rizzolo about to step out of prison on April 4th, the value keeps plummeting unless someone can be convinced to over pay for the property as was the case when the Mustang Ranch was sold to a Conforte front man.

Maybe when his Coming Home parties in Newport Beach and Las Vegas are over, Rick Rizzolo will quietly be asked by his lackey in the U.S. Attorney's Office to step in to help find a buyer willing to over pay up to five times the appraised value to keep U.S. Judge Philip Pro from seizing tens of millions of dollars worth of personal assets Rizzolo and his wife hid weeks before he was indicted.

As was the case with the Mustang Ranch, government officials are falling on their swords trying to sell the Crazy Horse for five times its appraised value. They're even burning the expensive lights and keeping the PBX telephone system on to make it look like it's open for business.

Unfortunately, the lights and outgoing phone message may entice unknowing tourists to go to the club thinking it's open, and inadvertently venture into one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in town.

If you call the place today at 702-382-8003, the government pays for a sultry greeting recorded by Bart's daughter Dr. Annette Patterson: "Welcome to the world famous Crazy Horse Too Gentleman's Club, the home of the best entertainment in Las Vegas and voted the number one gentleman's club for twenty consecutive years."

Annette goes on (at U.S. Government expense) to say; "The Crazy Horse has been featured in Playboy's guide to men's clubs. For the location, hours, and costs, please press one now. For billing inquiries press two now. For the DJs press three now. For information on work availability press four now. For lost and found press five. For the Emperor's Room press six. For the shift manager press seven. For the business offices press eight. For the operator and all other inquiries press nine."

I pressed nine expecting Daniel Hollingsworth to answer, but instead I received an endless loop message from Annette saying the Crazy Horse is open 24 hours per day seven days a week with sexy music playing in the background.

This very false advertising is provided at taxpayer's expense courtesy of the United States of America!

In past months, Daniel Hollingsworth tried to seal the names of potential buyers of the shuttered saloon, and expressed that Rick Rizzolo would have the right to approve the buyer from his prison cell at the Los Angeles Federal Detention Center.

In a totally amazing MOTION he filed with Judge Pro on August 13, 2007, Hollingsworth made this plea: "The general public should not be allowed to know the proposed offers. the proprietary information, etc., since (Rick) Rizzolo will select one to see if it will complete the sale. If it fails, Rizzolo will select the next one."

Judge Pro denied his MOTION. But that didn't discourage Hollingsworth from trying to keep his and Rizzolo's negotiations from the public. On November 27, 2007, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported: "Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Hollingsworth said the name of the potential buyer will be kept under wraps until the deal is finalized. Hollinsworth said the buyers have already been harassed and any further problems could cause the sale to fall apart. He didn't elaborate on the nature of the harassment."

That brings to mind the day Rick Rizzolo was dealt a suspiciously light sentence. He received one year and one day when the maximum sentence available was five years. Mr. Hollingsworth was observed shaking the convicted felon's hand as he left the courtroom -- a picture worth a thousand words.

Hollingsworth was indirectly referring to me when he said his buyers were being harassed -- all of whom turned out to be total flakes. I admit having my INSIDE VEGAS columns hand delivered to every buyer on his secret list on a weekly basis because I believe they have the right to know what they're getting in to.

Instead of soliciting help from the public who probably know more about his secret buyers than he does, Hollingsworth wants us to trust that he'll filter out the Mob straw men as the feds promised with the Mustang Ranch case. However, because of his quest for secrecy, I can't help but question Hollingsworth's motivation.

Meanwhile, despite Hollingsworth's best efforts, information regarding whether or not a qualified buyer has surfaced is coming from consistently reliable sources. As of today, I've been told by several sources that all deals are off. Only Rick Rizzolo being back on the street around April Fools Day can salvage Hollingsworth's burning desire to sell the place for $28 million plus, I'm told, and he'll now have three additional months to do this thanks to Councilwoman Tarkanian's new law.

Also, the Crazy Horse will have been dark for ten months when Rick gets out -- a life time in the strip club business.

Come April 4, Rizzolo starts his four year supervised parole that requires he "not 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."

If a new self financed buyer suddenly emerges to bail Rizzolo out and buy the Crazy Horse at five times appraised value, the honest feds and Judge Pro should immediately raise a big red flag. Especially since January 11 when Penthouse opened a brand new 40,000 square foot gentleman's club not far from the forgotten Crazy Horse Too.

And if Mr. Hollingsworth recommends to Judge Pro that he approve a new sale within days or weeks of April Fools Day, then my suspicion about the Assistant U.S. Attorney for Nevada will be validated. It will be too obvious that Rizzolo pulled the buyer out of his bag of tricks with Hollingsworth's full cooperation.

Ultimately, Judge Philip Pro holds the key.

If Judge Pro wisely rejects such an offer, it will also be up to him to pierce Rizzolo's five LLC's and two Trusts that were set up by the brother of a fellow Federal Court Judge, and pay Rizzolo's $28 million dollars in debts from the sale of his liquidated assets.

For Rizzolo to have hired the brother of a another Federal Court Judge as his asset protection attorney, and the fact that the attorney's brother was appointed to the Federal bench by U.S. Senator Harry Reid who is the business partner of Crazy Horse attorney Jay Brown who is the law partner of Mayor Oscar Goodman, is one of the most clever schemes ever concocted to help a crook keep his ill gotten fortune. It was obviously connived with the anticipation that another Federal Court Judge would not want to embarrass a colleague.

That said, no matter how embarrassing it may be for Judge Pro's colleague on the Federal bench to have this information surface, Judge Pro must pierce the protective vales set up by his fellow judge's brother, and recover and liquidate Rizzolo's hidden assets, pay the creditors, and let this bullshit end once and for all before the U.S. government becomes a laughing stock for the second time.


Copyright © Steve Miller

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