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: http://www.SteveMiller4LasVegas.com
Rick Rizzolo gets a year
and a day,
Vinny Faraci's angel revealed,
And the incest continues!
VEGAS by Steve Miller
January 29, 2007
Lying in the
foothills of the
Santa Lucia Mountains that
separate the lush San Joaquin Valley from the Central California coast
and vineyards, is Taft Federal Correctional Institution.
The facility is run under contract by Wackenhut Services, Inc.,
and is a low to medium security prison camp housing approximately 1,900
Last week, Crazy Horse Too owner Rick
and his associate
Vinny Faraci received sentences at Taft; Rizzolo's one year and one day
to begin on May 22,
and Faraci's five months to begin on July 1.
Rizzolo went before U.S. Federal Court Chief Judge Philip M. Pro, and
Faraci was sentenced by U.S. Federal Judge Kent Dawson. Both
defendants plea bargained to felony tax evasion, though they were
originally expected to be charged with extortion, robbery, racketeering
and tax evasion.
Judge Pro also accepted the plea agreement of Rizzolo's corporation
"The Power Company" to Federal charges of racketeering. He sentenced
the corporation to five years probation, but it's doubtful the
corporation will serve any time since it exists only on paper.
You may be asking why both defendants were let off so easy, especially
if you're aware of the pain and suffering they caused?
(L to R, top to bottom) Scott
Fau (deceased) - 8/4/95, Paul
Russo - 12/12/97, Jermaine
Simieou - 4/30/02
Henry - 9/20/01, Eben Kostbar - 7/3/01, Eddie
Soula - 07/15/04
I'm not sure about Judge Pro especially since he could have
sentenced Rizzolo to only house arrest, but something interesting has
up on Judge Dawson that courtroom observers now believe should have
caused him to recuse.
There's a connection between U.S. Federal Court Judge Kent Dawson
and Vinny Faraci!
Jay Brown and Mike Signorelli
When Judge Dawson gave Bonnano
crime family associate Vinny
the most lenient sentence possible, Faraci was represented by
David Chesnoff who is LV Mayor Oscar Goodman and Jay Brown's law
partner. Brown is also
United States Senator Harry Reid's
business partner in a very questionable
and Brown is currently representing Mike
is purportedly trying to buy the Crazy Horse Too
. Brown once
served with Goodman as Rizzolo's corporate
Coincidentally, Senator Reid appointed
Kent Dawson to the Federal Bench.
December 26, 1999 Las Vegas
stated; "On Wednesday, Sen. Reid
announced that U.S. Magistrate Roger
Hunt, Henderson Justice of the Peace Kent Dawson, and
attorney Eve Garcia-Mendoza were his
choices to fill three federal
judicial openings in Las Vegas."
See the connection?
According to the October 13, 2006 Washington Post
, "Mr. Reid bought undeveloped property
on the outskirts of
fast-growing Las Vegas for about $400,000 in 1998 -- one parcel
outright and a second jointly with Mr. Brown. In 2001, Mr. Reid sold
the land for the same price to a corporation he co-owned with Mr.
Brown, who in the meantime was getting the land rezoned from
residential to commercial use. But the senator didn't report the sale
on his annual financial disclosure form. When the new company sold the
land to developers in 2004, yielding $1.1 million for Mr. Reid, the
senator did not accurately list the transaction or go back and fix the
previous forms to reflect the new arrangement."
Senator Reid is beholden to Jay Brown for
helping him make a $700,000 profit
in the land deal, and Judge Dawson is beholden to Senator
appointing him to the Federal Bench. See the connection, and the reason
Judge Dawson should've abstained?
Now, according to the January 24, 2007 Las
Prosecutor Eric) Johnson said the New York State Commission on Crime
verified Faraci's ties to the Bonanno
Dawson said the ties to the
crime family did not play into Faraci's sentence."
Sources close to the (ongoing) Federal investigation told me that
opinion someone encouraged the U.S. Department of Justice in
Washington, D.C. to go easy on Rizzolo
and Faraci. Federal officials complain that too many man
hours and dollars were spent on "Operation Crazy Horse" for the
light sentences given Rizzolo and Faraci by the local Federal
The reason is becoming clear. Mayor Goodman is overtly and
liquor license of his law firm's clients at the Crazy Horse Too. Up
until July 10, 2006, he was so outspoken about allowing the
topless bar to stay open that
had to be filed to make him shut
Now he abstains on all matters concerning the
Crazy Horse, but his fingerprints are all over the actions of city
staff recommending the bar stay open, and his law partners Jay Brown
and David Chesnoff represent the Crazy Horse
they appear before the City Council or a local judge, while Mr. Brown
also handles matters in D.C.
The incest continues!
AmericanMafia.com photo by Mike Christ
In this photo you
see Rizzolo's attorney Tony Sgro in the white shirt talking to
Faraci (black suit) and Bart Rizzolo. At sentencing, Faraci's lawyer
Chesnoff (Jay Brown's law partner); "...fought
for house arrest, saying Faraci is engaged in a bitter custody battle
with his ex-wife. If Faraci
is incarcerated for a lengthy period of time, his wife might be granted
full custody and take the children out of state. Faraci echoed his
concerns when asked whether he had any comment before sentencing. 'Anything
the court can do to help me ... the court will never see me before him
again,' Faraci vowed," as reported by Adrienne Packer of the Review-Journal.
Judge Dawson appeared overly sympathetic, then dutifully lightened
However, it seemed all too incestuous that a judge would give leniency
mobbed-up defendant who was represented by the law partner of the U.S.
Senator who appointed him to the bench!
Judges are supposed to always "avoid the appearance of impropriety."
Now here's the zinger!
ex-wife Chesnoff so aptly used as an excuse to get his client
now the wife of Rick Rizzolo's lawyer Tony Sgro!
According to the Clark County Recorder, Anthony Patrick Sgro married
(ex-stripper) Frances Mae Ryan on March 20, 2005 in Las Vegas. (Mr.
Sgro according to county records showed extreme prudence by not
transferring any of his personal assets to his bride after the
ceremony. Smart move!)
divorce from Faraci and
marriage to Sgro, Ryan dated NY Mets all star catcher and Rizzolo pal
Mike Piazza whose father Vince Piazza is the owner of the Philadelphia
Crazy Horse Too whose landlord is Rick Rizzolo.
And then there's Rizzolo sentencing when his attorney Sgro told Judge
Pro, "He (Rizzolo) lost his
friendships, he lost his
entire identity, he lost his entire lifestyle, he lost a significant
amount of money post plea."
Sgro went on to say, "Mr. Rizzolo
wasn't present when the crimes were committed." "If I were to
have told Mr. Rizzolo he would be thrown off his own property along
with his family
members, he probably wouldn't have accepted a plea
agreement." "We had no idea that the City Council would shut the Crazy
Horse Too down." "Please give him probation because he's suffered
enough already." "God only knows what the City Council will do in 90
days (when Signorelli is brought back for permanent licensing)."
"Losing his friends and millions was not bargained for."
Then Rizzolo rose and made
amazing statement: "I think you have a pretty good picture of what I
bought into and what I got out of it."
He made it sound as if the whole
sordid affair was just a
giant poker game!
Judge Pro responded to Sgro and
Rizzolo by saying, "Was there a curve thrown after the plea (the City
Council shutting the place down)? Yes. But nothing done in this court
can bind another sovereignty (the City Council), nor can the City
Council bind this court. To influence is fine, but not to bind. Is Mr.
Rizzolo in a bobbing cork situation? Yes. He agreed to foot the bill
for co-conspirators. That happens a lot. Congress cites factors
Federal Courts must consider for sentence, to promote respect for the
law, prevent disparities. Mr. Rizzolo was the leader and derived a
substantial income for a long time. He set the tone for unacceptable
behavior of those he employed. In interest of deterring others from
such conduct, some imprisonment promotes respect for the law. "
Judge Pro then ordered "some
imprisonment," but many court observers, especially the FBI agents
present, felt he was way too lenient.
Rizzolo, lighting a cigarette,
brushed past reporters waiting outside the courthouse as he made his
way to Sgro's waiting black Mercedes. Later that evening he was seen at
this favorite haunt buying rounds of drinks for his friends.
Hmmm.... I wonder if Al Capone
have been sent to Alcatraz -- also for tax
evasion -- if his attorneys made as eloquent a plea as Sgro and
Chesnoff made? Or
John Gotti would have gotten life for murder if he plead that his
corporation did it?
Remember, Rizzolo with the help of
his then-attorney Oscar Goodman got
off with no jail time after pleading guilty to the 1985 beating of a
patron with a baseball bat. The
Sandland, died three years later of complications caused by the
And don't forget the late Scott
David Fau who was beaten to death in 1995 by Crazy Horse bouncers
while Vinny Faraci reportedly watched. According to the taped statement
of eye witness Dan Kennedy, a
man he identified as "Vinny" was looking out the door at the
beating-taking place. Kennedy said Vinny was the manager of the club at
After release from prison,
Rizzolo will be under the supervision of the Department of Parole and
Probation for a 36 month period. During that time, the
Department will have 24 hour access to his residence and unlimited
access to his financial and bank records. (I wonder if they'll check
the safety deposit boxes full of cash he keeps in the cages at several
Rizzolo is also ordered to not
have any dealings with or be a business consultant to any
adult oriented business for the rest of his life. But that doesn't stop
Faraci who is not bound by the same orders.
While serving together at the Taft "country club," the two will have
(Faraci's sentence) to discuss Faraci's recent purchase of a Vegas
bar called Strip Tease. Sources close to Rizzolo and Faraci tell INSIDE
VEGAS that Faraci is making the purchase with Rizzolo's money.
And what about Mike Signorelli paying $45 million for a place described
as a "toilet" by Federal agents who raided the Crazy Horse in 2002? Is
really going to close the deal by June when Judge Pro ordered the club
be sold, or put into receivership? Business at the Crazy Horse dropped
to a trickle after Signorelli took over, and he hasn't been able to
afford to pay Rizzolo one cent in rent.
And what about Athanasios
Karaholios? Karaholios bid on the Crazy Horse before Signorelli, but
was squelched when Rizzolo reportedly tried to force himself in as a silent
partner and Karaholios refused.
It's so obvious that Rizzolo is blackmailing the City
Council. At Rizzolo's sentencing, Sgro played a video of Kirk Henry's wife Amy
pleading to the City Council last October to let the Crazy Horse stay
open so it could be sold to raise the funds to pay her family their $10
million dollar judgment -- a very ironic plea when the same club she
asked to remain open almost killed her husband!
The video showed her standing at the podium with her attorneys Donald
Campbell and Stan
also have not been paid).
Judge Pro gave this
to describe her ironic actions; "Mrs. Henry had ten million reasons
to ask the City Council to let the Crazy Horse Too remain in business."
"She's being treated like a ping pong ball."
Henry and her lawyer's desperate plea did not take into
consideration the safety of future Kirk Henry's. Until the City Council
threw Rizzolo out, Rizzolo and his goons
intended to continue running the place "as is" according
to a CONFIDENTIAL
PURCHASE AGREEMENT slipped to INSIDE VEGAS. That
up more customers who, like Kirk Henry, might balk at paying inflated
credit card tabs -- the way
Rizzolo made most of his profit over the years. By their actions, Mrs.
Henry and her attorneys had "ten million reasons"
not to care about future Crazy Horse patrons.
Not once at Rizzolo's
sentencing hearing did anyone mention liquidating Rick and Lisa
Rizzolo's personal assets that would certainly amount to enough to
settle his $17 million dollar legal obligations including the Henry's
judgment, IRS, and the legal fees still owned to Campbell and
I guess that would
really upset the apple cart! Rizzolo is a "Whale" on the Strip with a
million dollar line of credit and is expected to continue his gambling
binges after he gets out of prison.
If his personal
assets are liquidated, a bunch of Strip casino moguls would lose a
goose that lays golden eggs, and in a gambling town, that's
After the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the American Mafia
abandoned its bootlegging operations and settled into gambling, labour
racketeering, loan-sharking, narcotics distribution,
and prostitution rings. It grew to be the largest and
most powerful of the U.S. syndicated-crime organizations, and it
reinvested the profits accruing from crime in the ownership of such
legitimate businesses as hotels, restaurants, and entertainment
Investigations conducted by U.S.
government agencies in the 1950s and '60s revealed that the structure
of the American Mafia was similar to that of its Sicilian prototype.
(In the United States, the organization had adopted the name Cosa
Nostra [Italian: “Our Affair”].) From the 1950s, Mafia operations were
conducted by some 24 groups, or “families,” throughout the country. In
most cities where syndicated crime operated, there was one family, but
in New York City there were five: Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Colombo,
While this sick melodrama drags on, the
majority of Las Vegas voters are expected to show their ignorance
once again this June when they reelect Oscar
Goodman to his third and
final term. Like the late Richard J. Daley of Chicago, Goodman
has a war chest in the millions -- much of it from unknown sources --
is a big crook -- and no serious candidate has stepped forward to
challenge him, especially in a town
that's proud of its' nickname, "Sin City."
And they said the
mob left Vegas years
Copyright © Steve Miller
Steve Miller is the author and sponsor of the City of Las Vegas Ethics
in Government Law enacted in 1991. Soon after Oscar Goodman was elected
Mayor, he had the law abolished.
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