defy Federal Court with impunity
Crime family attempts to
quash depositions and hide
business partner's names.
Two Federal Judges
may be trying to avoid embarrassing
fellow judge. And Dominic
now works for a time share
company in Florida.
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
February 2, 2009
LAS VEGAS - In the preceding
VEGAS, I wrote that convicted
racketeer Rick Rizzolo and his ex-wife Lisa were refusing to disclose
subpoenaed financial information in Henry et al vs. Rizzolo et al.,
beating victim Kirk Henry agreed to keep the names of Mr. and Mrs.
Rizzolo's business partners confidential (see below).
Document 60 Filed 01/15/2009 Page 7 of 10
the only information which has not been disclosed, is that which Ms. Rizzolo
is concerned is subject to privacy issues which she does not have the authority
to ignore because they involve the financial information of Rick Rizzolo
which he himself refused to disclose to Plaintiff or third parties unrelated
to this action. That information includes potential insurance beneficiary
information (Request to Produce No. 11), 2 joint trust agreements and individual
trust agreements involving other individuals (Request to Produce Nos. 13
Such a blatant refusal should
have triggered a harsh response from the court, but it didn't. So on January
27, Kirk Henry's legal team acquiesced and filed a Stipulation and Protective
Order agreeing to keep confidential the information Rizzolo had previously
refused to disclose including the names of "other individuals" --
persons who may be well known in Las Vegas, Carson City, Newport Beach,
Washington D.C., Miami, New York, or Chicago.
Though it would have been
fascinating to know just who the Rizzzolo's seek to protect and why, it's
fully understandable that Kirk Henry's priority is to get paid the $9 million
he's been owed since his neck was broken by one of the Rizzolo's Crazy
Horse Too topless bar bouncers back in September 2001. For the past eight
years, Henry's beating-related quadriplegia has confined him to a wheelchair,
kept him from working, and cost his family hundreds of thousands in medical
confidentiality was not all the Rizzolo's were demanding.
On Thursday, January 29,
an Emergency Motion was filed in United States Federal Court moving to
severely restrict the questions Kirk Henry's attorneys can ask Rizzolo's
personal attorney Tony Sgro (left) in an upcoming Deposition.
This came two days after
Rick and Lisa Rizzolo filed a Motion to quash the subpoena of their 26
year old convicted felon son Dominic (see Declaration below).
Federal Magistrate Judge
George W. Foley Jr. has scheduled dual hearings for Thursday, February
19, 2009, at 10:30 AM, to rule on the Protective Order Motion for Sgro,
and the Quash Motion for Dominic.
Henry's attorneys have for
more than two years been attempting to locate the whereabouts of millions
of dollars in assets
the Rizzolos hid three weeks before Rick began his 2005 plea bargaining.
So far, Henry's
attorneys have received little or no help from the courts.
Mr. and Mrs. Rizzolo hid
their assets with the help of the brother of a federal court judge, the
same judge who was concurrently presiding over the trials of 15 men once
employed by the couple. More on this later.
There is also speculation
that Sgro's law firm received legal fees in undeclared cash, and that Rick
is stashing cash in Strip hotel casino cages, and off shore. Therefore,
depositions are expected to contain detailed inquiries as to precisely
where the Rizzolo's assets are hidden? Several states and off shore nations
have become depositories for the ill-gotten assets of persons who have
Florida is well known for
being a safe haven for hiding assets as was exemplified by O. J. Simpson
when the Goldman family unsuccessfully attempted to collect their $33.5
million dollar civil court judgment. Florida has also been known for the
state's high pressure time share vacation sales tactics.
In the past, some naive married
couples referred to as "units" in the trade, have been enticed by direct
mail scams to travel free of charge to Florida and other tropical locales
to supposedly have a relaxing vacation. Most of the illicit time share
the elderly. What was supposed to be a good time soon turned into a
nightmare according to victims. Such experiences have given the time share
industry a black eye though many time share companies are legitimate and
have satisfied customers.
When the targeted couple
arrived at their destination, many reported being taken directly from the
airport to a conference hall where they were locked in and forced to sit
for hours with someone referred to as an "investment counselor." Then they
reported being subjected to a high pressure sales pitch to buy a time share
If they did not immediately
agree to purchase the product being offered, many "units" reported that
their "investment counselor" changed mood and began using carefully orchestrated
intimidation tactics to force them into signing a check or credit card
slip before they were allowed to leave the meeting hall and go to their
Most of the worst case offenders
have been shut down, but several still remain in operation according to
Dominic Rizzolo recently
moved to Florida. It's not known if Rizzolo has acquired any real property
since moving there, and if so, who paid for it? But it is known that Dominic
has for eight months been employed by Paramount
Hospitality, a time share and resort company founded by Marco A. Manzie.
It would be interesting to
know if Rizzolo's employer is aware his "Front Office Manager for the Floridays
Resort" was convicted
on January 12, 2009 of Felony Battery With a Deadly Weapon, and is serving
a 24 month suspended sentence and 5 years probation for stabbing a man
in the upper abdomen with a six inch switch blade knife during a January
21, 2008 extortion attempt? The victim almost died from his injuries.
As part of his extraordinary
sentence, Dominic Rizzolo was ordered to take an anger management course.
Despite the anger management course, Dominic's criminal history should
be considered before he's allowed to continue having direct contact with
the public, especially if they're disgruntled time share buyers.
Manzie is the fifty-year-old
president of Vacation Break Management, a subsidiary of a publicly traded
company called Vacation Break USA (NASDAQ:VBRK). In 1997, the attorney
generals of 11 states filed actions against the company relating to certain
of its methods of marketing its time share vacation packages. The actions
sought damages and injunctive relief in connection with alleged
deceptive practices. The Federal Trade Commission named Vacation Break
in multiple lawsuits alleging travel package and timeshare fraud.
Complaints were filed after
consumers responded to the company's direct mailer which contained a certificate
of entitlement telling them to "pack their bags," or "you have been selected,"
implying the recipient had won a free vacation.
"These certificates were
just a come-on to get the consumer to call," said
Washington State Attorney General Christine Gregoire. "Consumers were then
pressured into buying vacation packages for over $400 that included undisclosed
but required attendance at time share sales presentations during their
Under a settlement agreement,
Vacation Break agreed to begin disclosing all costs and fees and tell the
consumer they may be solicited for a sales presentation before they purchase
a vacation. The company also agreed to pay restitution, penalties, and
costs to consumers.
Based on the above, if Marco
Manzie has personal knowledge that one of his employees was recently found
guilty of a crime of violence, and that employee is still allowed to work
in a managerial position dealing with vacationers at one of Manzie's Florida
resorts, it may reignite the interest of the Federal Trade Commission.
Dominic's current employment should also be of interest to his Florida
In Dominic's case, the apple
doesn't fall far from the tree. His father pleaded guilty in 1985 to beating
a man almost to death with a baseball bat. Like his son, he plea bargained
and got off with a slap on the wrist with help from his family's political
connections. The beating victim died of related injuries in 1989.
In his 2005 plea bargain,
Rick Rizzolo agreed to pay Kirk Henry a total of $10 million dollars in
exchange for reduced charges and a one year sentence. So far, Henry has
not received one penny from the Rizzolo's personal fortune (though he received
$1 million from the Crazy Horse Too's insurance policy). Meanwhile, the
elder Rizzolo is observed on a nightly basis squandering
large sums of cash in several Vegas casinos.
Rick Rizzolo is suspected
of having hidden ownership in the Bada Bing Men's Club where he's regularly
seen alongside his god son, the club's purported owner Rick Belcastro.
As part of his most recent plea bargain, Rick Rizzolo agreed to never again
be involved in the adult entertainment industry for the
rest of his life. But eyewitnesses and club employees tell a different
Lisa Rizzolo has not yet
been charged with any crime.
The following document was
filed on May 16, 2008 in Federal Judge Philip Pro's court. It accuses unnamed
local attorneys of acting in a conspiracy with the Rizzolos to hide
assets that rightfully should be liquidated to pay creditors including
Kirk Henry and the IRS, and help Rick Rizzolo fulfill his part of the 2005
plea bargain which included over $26 million in restitution.
Document 1 Filed 05/16/2008 Page 3 of 7
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Conspiracy to Defraud)
7. Beginning on or about May 24, 2005, the Defendants
Rick and Lisa Rizzolo together, and with each other and with third persons
acting in concert with them (believed to include attorneys and accountants
whose names are not presently known but who will be added as parties once
their identities are confirmed) did combine, conspire, confederate and
agree together and with each other to defraud the Plaintiffs and each of
13. In an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy,
Rick Rizzolo and Lisa Rizzolo, together with third parties believed to
include attorneys and accountants (whose names are not presently known
but who will be added as parties once their identities are confirmed),
formed a so-called “family trust” and thereafter transferred their assets
into the same in an attempt to shield the assets available to compensate
the Henrys for their catastrophic injuries.
In December, 2008, Judge
Foley gave Rizzolo and his attorneys until
Jan. 8, 2009 to produce financial documents including checks, billing
invoices, payment records, engagement letters and transmittal sheets.
Rizzolo refused to comply
with Judge Foley's Order. But even though his action was openly defiant
of a federal judge, he and his attorneys were not sanctioned.
The attorneys who allegedly
acted "in concert" to hide the Rizzolo's assets are presumed to be Tony
Sgro of Patti & Sgro, and
John Dawson of Lionel
Sawyer & Collins -- Sgro for allegedly arranging a phony
divorce, and Dawson for allegedly transferring assets into phony
Document Type: Trust Deed
Recorded: 08/29/2006 16:25:41 Pgs: 5
ReRecorded: N Remarks:
Requestor: LIONEL SAWYER
1st Party: RIZZOLO,
LISA M EE
LISA M RIZZOLO SEPARATE
PROPERTY TRUST THE
2nd Party: LMR
TRUST AGREEMENT THE
Both lawyers should be very
concerned -- especially Dawson -- now that the court is finally taking
interest in the whereabouts of the Rizzolo's wealth, and who helped them
But most troubling is that
John Dawson is the brother of Federal Court Judge Kent Dawson who presided
over the criminal trials of 15 men who committed serious crimes while employed
by the Rizzolo's at the now
defunct Crazy Horse Too. John Dawson's name has not yet been mentioned
as an alleged co-conspirator, but I believe it's just a matter of time
-- no matter who his brother is -- before the "asset protection" expert
is also subpoenaed for deposition.
The Dawson brothers - Federal Judge Kent, and Asset Protection Attorney
The 15 Crazy Horse employee's
trials in Kent Dawson's court all ended in questionably
light sentences. But a greater concern is that Judge Dawson did not
that his brother was the asset protection lawyer working for the Rizzolo
family at the same time the 15 trials were taking place.
Because of his skill in protecting
assets, in 2008, John Dawson was a featured speaker at the annual conference
of the Southpac Offshore Planning Institute held at the Wynn Hotel in Las
According to a conference
attendee, John Dawson neglected to tell the audience how he hid the Rizzolo's
assets at the same time his brother was presiding over the trials of the
couple's goon squad. But Dawson reportedly did a good job of analyzing
the potential for attorney liability, a subject he was acutely aware of.
The motto of the U.S.
District Court, District of Nevada - Las Vegas is: "The cornerstone
of the American judicial system is the trial court in which witnesses testify,
juries deliberate, and justice is done."
The motto notwithstanding,
some courthouse observers are beginning to wonder if the current federal
judges sitting on the Henry et al vs. Rizzolo et al. case may be
going soft on the Rizzolos in order to avoid embarrassing a fellow judge
for not clearly disclosing his brother's relationship to the former employer
of 15 defendants that were handed light sentences in his court?
If Kirk Henry's effort to
force full disclosure is giving Judges Pro and Foley pause, then Rick and
Lisa Rizzolo should be given an award for hiring Tony Sgro and a federal
judge's brother to cleverly hide their assets, and to possibly shield them
from scrutiny in the local federal court system.
The never ending Henry
et al vs. Rizzolo et al. case brings to question the veracity of the
Federal Court's motto.