The calm before the storm
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
November 26, 2007
The Thanksgiving holiday is a wonderful time to try to slip one
over on us.
While we're busy enjoying time with our families and close
friends, decorating the house, and shopping for gifts, those with
sinister plans can use the season to
camouflage a dirty scheme.
Having seen this happen in the past, I decided to
re-visit a very
disturbing letter from the law firm that represents imprisoned
racketeer Rick Rizzolo
Last month, when I first shared the following CONFIDENTIAL
letter with my readers, I simply believed that its most curious aspect
person to whom it was addressed: Shawn Chester of the Wynn
Hotel. However I never thought Steve Wynn would take such a
missive seriously, so I looked further into the letter. I
found several more intriguing aspects I wish to discuss.
ON LETTER TO ENLARGE
At the top of the letter,
criminal defense attorney Mark Hafer
refers to himself as
"representing the sellers of the Crazy
Since August 30,
2007 when the property was seized by the United
States of America, the shuttered Crazy Horse Too topless bar has been
owned by the
citizens of this great country. I don't remember the United States ever
hiring a mob lawyer to sell the place so it could re-open and continue
racketeering. So if Mr. Hafer is
accurately describing his authority, our country is in big trouble!
Then Hafer states he wrote the letter at the
of a prospective buyer who he claims offered $34.2 million for the
property. The government appraised the property at only $5.4 million,
so who would make such a ridiculous bid?
U.S. Federal Court Judge
Philip Pro on January 23, 2007 clearly ordered
that the property cannot be sold to "a close relative or ongoing
business partner of Rizzolo’s, is a felon, or has business dealings
with organized crime members or groups."
Hafer's letter makes a
connection between his client Rick Rizzolo
and Michael Kinsis of The
Mortgage Broker, Inc. Rizzolo is a convicted "felon" and is associated
with "organized crime members or groups," so why is
Hafer in his letter tying his imprisoned client to Kinsis knowing the
be squeaky clean?
This is the
same Michael Kinsis who, according to Buffalo Jim
Barrier, on Friday October
26 led a group of men into Barrier's auto shop next to the Crazy Horse
and identified themselves as the new
owners of the property.
According to Barrier, Kinsis said
they were from Orange County, California and asked the garage owner if
Bart Rizzolo? Bart is the father of Rick Rizzolo. The Rizzolo family is from Anaheim, a
city located in Orange
Rizzolo owns a 3,700 square foot Newport Beach house also
located in Orange County.
Barrier said that one of his
visitors called him "Buffalo Bill," and told him, "I don't understand
why they just didn't have you killed?" "It would be easy to do, you
The man then asked questions about Barrier's 35 year lease that expires
Barrier described an older man
in the group "glaring" at him in a "menacing way" during the meeting
witnessed by several of Barrier's employees and a reporter from a local
If what Hafer writes is
true, the citizens of the United States have just
been completely removed from
the equation. And with folks like Mayor
, and Councilwoman
anxiously standing by to issue a liquor license
"approve," the bloody saga of the Crazy Horse Too may be far from
In late October 2007,
confidential sources describe meetings arranged by Kinsis that
reportedly included Rick Rizzolo's 21 year old son Dominic. Kinsis
hosted the meetings to try to attract hard money lenders. At the
meetings sources report that Kinsis showcased Dominic to the
prospective lenders and that the younger Rizzolo bragged his family
made $45 million per
year in profits (Hello IRS!). Sources report that Dominic neglected to
violent methods used to derive the profits.
On Friday, November 16, Barrier
and one of his customers filed a police report stating Bart Rizzolo
intentionally tried to run them over in the parking lot of his garage.
attorneys also filed a motion for a restraining order against the
elder Rizzolo. That motion is expected to be signed by a judge this
Then Hafer writes that the
property is listed with C.B. Richard Ellis Real Estate (CBRE), and on
behalf of the seller (Rizzolo?), he has the "right to
disapprove a buyer procured by this broker."
CBRE has the exclusive contract
to sell the trouble plagued property, and with help from LV
Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, CBRE now has an additional six months to
do so. Had the councilwoman not altered the zoning law as a favor to a
Newport Beach friend of her husband, the bar would have permanently
lost its liquor license on Dec. 31, and its chances of ever reopening
would be nil.
In his letter, Hafer appeared
to be trying to get Wynn to bid around CBRE thereby cutting the broker
out of the deal. I don't believe that was the government's intention
when they contracted with CBRE, nor would CBRE have engaged in such a
contract knowing Rizzolo's lawyers could pull an end run.
In the interest of making a
higher commission, CBRE has reportedly ignored
several legitimate bids
between $15 and $20 million telling the bidders
they are "not qualified" no matter how good their financial statement.
In his letter Hafer wrote,
"the judge approved The
Mortgage Broker, Inc. as a buyer."
After what I've
learned about this "buyer," I'm very disturbed that the
Department of Justice and Judge Pro found anything about them to
Thanks to Mark Hafer, we now know that Rick Rizzolo and The
Mortgage Broker, Inc. are in cahoots. That being the case, who else
could get "approved" by the D.O.J. and
I'm just glad John Gotti isn't around to bid on this joint!
The outrageously high offers
CBRE consider legitimate may indicate that organized crime associates
will pay any amount to resume the
used by the Rizzolos. Otherwise the debt service would be prohibitive
for any legitimate operator not willing to beat money out of bar
This makes me feel that
CBRE is not properly scrutinizing bidders and would sell the bar to
anyone if the price was high
enough to generate their hoped for $1.5 million dollar
commission (5% of $30 million).
Mr. Hafer indicates he has the
"right" to request the court disapprove a buyer who does not cover
Rizzolo's "liens, fines, taxes, forfeitures, and encumbrances."
If his client is truly the "seller" instead of the citizens of the
U.S.A. being the seller, it means that convicted
felons sitting in prison cells have a new set of "rights!"
On Monday, November 26,
at 9 AM, United States Federal Court Judge Philip Pro will assemble the
attorneys of all interested parties in his courtroom in the Lloyd
George Federal Court House to receive a status report on the sale.
However, the court is ignoring
the fact that the Rizzolo's illegally transferred more than enough of
their ill begotten assets to pay all their court ordered debts the
week before Rick was indicted. And that the
brother of Federal Court Judge
Kent Dawson arranged the transfer
Because assets transferred to defraud the government can be seized, it
puzzles me why the government is so intent on selling the property for
five times its appraised value? And why are they so intent upon seeing
the place re-opened in time for New Year's Eve? Las Vegas already has
enough topless bars to fill the need.
more intriguing is the court's lack of interest in
seizing the Rizzolo's hidden assets. Then there's the choice of
attorney Rizzolo used to protect his assets, John Dawson, brother of
U.S. Federal Court Judge Kent Dawson. Judge Dawson coincidentally
presided over the trials of 16 Rizzolo employees. Judge Dawson also
neglected to disclose during the trials that his
was Rizzolo's asset protection lawyer and resident agent
"The Power Company," Rizzolo's corporation. At the end, Judge Dawson
was accused of letting defendants off with slaps on the wrist
even after a New York Crime Commissioner testified about ties to
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Judge Dawson's conflict of interest might be the
reason nothing is being said in Judge Pro's court about seizing the
assets to pay the court ordered debts -- assets that are not
able to be found
at this time. So the discussion
is possibly off limits because it could cause great embarrassment
to a fellow Federal Court Judge, and to the powerful
U.S. Senator who appointed him
Whoever advised Rizzolo to hire
a Federal Court Judge's brother to hide his personal assets is
an absolute genius!
(John Dawson: Please call O.J. Simpson ASAP!)
During the Holidays when we all have more important things on
minds -- a stealth deal could be in the works to avoid embarrassing
some very powerful government officials.
What I've just disclosed might be the reason the court and
Department of Justice are seriously considering those suspect high-ball
offers -- offers that will more than cover Rizzolo's personal
obligations, hence shielding those who helped him hide
In a perfect world, the judge will be informed on Monday that
high offers were rejected because the bidders were unable to prove they
had no ties to members of organized crime. He will also be
informed that the lower offers are now being considered because they
are closer to fair market value and are from verifiable sources -- no
matter the protests from CBRE.
If and when the Crazy Horse is sold, Buffalo Jim Barrier will let
INSIDE VEGAS readers know if Bart Rizzolo, Dominic Rizzolo, Annette
Rizzolo, Vinny Faraci, Al Rapuano, Joey Cusumano, Fred Doumani or Rocco
Lombardo re-enter the property. He may even provide photos as he's done
in the past.
I fully believe that the presence of any of the above persons will
indicate that it's back to business as usual at the Crazy Horse Too.
But hopefully, Judge Pro will learn on Monday that the U.S. Government
doing their due diligence, and my fears will be for naught.
John Walsh and Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona
Bereaved father John Walsh founded the National Center for Missing
& Exploited Children and the Adam Walsh Foundation after his young
son was abducted from a Florida store in 1981 and later found slain.
Ever since then, he's devoted his life to putting criminals behind
Today, Walsh is the host of "Take Charge!
Choices for your Cox Digital Home." This excellent program is designed
to help us create safe boundaries around our children's mass media
Co-hosting the program is Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona.
I have complete respect for John Walsh, but I saw it coming.
Walsh was blind sided when his co-host was recently indicted for
associating with mob members including Rizzolo, but that
information was readily available in the Orange County Weekly
, Laguna Journal,
and Orange County Register
than two years if someone with the Walsh organization would've just
taken a few minutes to look.
County Weekly Photo
According to last week's Los
, Carona was also barred from accessing
classified information from an international law enforcement
network that gathers and shares information about terrorism and
organized crime because he was suspected of sharing this information
with Rizzolo pictured below in the Newport Beach Ritz Restaurant
with his hand almost touching Carona's badge.
After his indictment, Carona voluntarily stepped down
as Sheriff of California's second largest police department, and was
removed from the Board of Directors of the National Center for Missing
& Exploited Children.
It would now be prudent for Cox Cable to stop playing
interviews with this person, and let John Walsh continue his wonderful
work without being tarnished by such an unfortunate and
© Steve Miller