Lisa Rizzolo trying to coerce Kirk Henry
into not attending his September
"...they would only allow
telephonic depositions of the
Henrys if Plaintiffs stipulated
that the Henrys would
not be present for trial."
Erwin, attorney for Kirk Henry
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
March 8, 2010
LAS VEGAS - It would be an extreme hardship
for a paralyzed man to travel across the country to attend a March 11,
2010 deposition in his personal injury law suit. But attorneys for Defendant
Lisa Rizzolo say beating
victim Kirk Henry traveling to Las Vegas for the deposition won't be
necessary if he agrees not to show up at her and her ex-husband's
trial this fall.
Defendant Rick Rizzolo
Plaintiff Kirk Henry
and Lisa Rizzolo and their attorneys are obviously getting the heebie-jeebies
over the fear of a jury seeing a paralyzed man in an electric wheelchair
sitting at the Plaintiff's table every day during their September trial.
Hence their offer to not force Henry
to fly from his home in Kansas to Las Vegas for a March deposition in exchange
for him not showing up in the court room.
Former computer software executive Kirk
Vegas Review-Journal photo by Gary Thompson) suffered a
broken neck in October 2001 at the hands of a manager of the Rizzolo's
now-defunct Crazy Horse Too strip club after the hapless tourist disputed
a padded $88 bar tab.
Rick and Lisa were married at the time
of Henry's injuries, and Nevada is a Community Property state where married
couples share liabilities incurred during the term of their marriage.
Based on Henry's beating and numerous similar
incidents, the FBI conducted an investigation. Indictments were issued.
To avoid lengthy trials, Rick Rizzolo, his corporation The Power Company
Inc., and 15 Crazy Horse Too employees pleaded guilty to felonies including
tax evasion and racketeering.
In his Plea Agreement, Rick agreed to sell
his topless bar and pay Henry $10 million dollars restitution along with
paying the IRS around $5 million in back taxes, penalties, and interest.
He agreed to pay from the bar's sale proceeds, or severally from his own
funds if the bar didn't sell for enough to cover his debts . He made the
agreement in exchange for a feather light prison sentence. He also agreed
to not declare bankruptcy.
The government kept its side of the bargain
and put Rizzolo on supervised release (parole) after he served only one
year and a day in federal prison. But when Rizzolo and the government
failed to find a qualified buyer for the Crazy Horse Too, the government
seized the property, and Rizzolo reneged on his plea deal and refused to
pay his debts (see his parole officer's response later in this column).
Rick began his plea negotiations in 2005
three weeks after he divorced Lisa, his wife of 26 years. Soon after their
divorce, she mortgaged their three houses and stashed their
liquid assets in a Cook Islands bank out of Henry's and the government's
reach. She did this with the help of a
politically connected local attorney whose brother is a Federal Judge.
When he realized he wouldn't get paid,
Kirk Henry sued Rick and Lisa Rizzolo for allegedly violating the Uniform
Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA).
In the meantime, the IRS has taken no action
to collect -- possibly waiting for the outcome of the UFTA trial
The UFTA is typically brought by creditors
against a debtor who as part of an
asset protection scheme, donates his assets to an "insider," and leaves
himself nothing to pay his creditors. Three weeks before beginning plea
negotiations, Rick Rizzolo donated
all his assets with the exception of the Crazy Horse bar to his ex-wife
in a hasty divorce; a typical UFTA scenario.
In the years and months leading up to the
September 2010 trial, Henry's attorneys diligently tried to find out how
much cash Rizzolo stashed off shore (more on this later).
But the thought of a quadriplegic sitting
in an electric wheelchair at the Plaintiff's table in view of a jury has
evidently preoccupied Rizzolo's team of attorneys.
'I was rendered a quadriplegic as the result
of the incident that led to my lawsuit against Defendant Rick Rizzolo and
the Crazy Horse Too. My wife Amy Henry is required to act as my full time
caretaker if I am required to travel. She is responsible for the transportation
of my equipment which includes a 300 pound electric wheelchair and 25 pound
charger. Additionally my wife must transport the nursing supplies, catheter
equipment, and many other things required for my day to day care,"
stated Henry in his MOTION
FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER.
Kirk Henry categorically refused Lisa's
offer to "only allow telephonic depositions of the Henrys if Plaintiffs
stipulated that the Henrys would not be present for trial," and was forced
to file his Motion for a Protective Order to stop her and her attorney's
coercive tactics. Now it's up to U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley to
decide where and how Henry's deposition will take place.
On Friday March 5,, the proposed torturous
inquisition of Kirk Henry was temporarily STAYED.
|UNITED STATES DISTRICT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA
KIRK AND AMY HENRY,
aka RICK RIZZOLO, et al.,
Motion for Protective
This matter is before
the Court on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Protective Order, or, in the Alternative,
an Order Requiring Telephonic Depositions of Plaintiffs Kirk and Amy Henry
(Dkt.#305), filed March 5, 2010.
Defendants have noticed
the depositions of Plaintiffs Kirk and Amy Henry for March 11, 2010. Plaintiffs
request that a protective order be issued to allow the deposition of Plaintiffs
to take place telephonically. Due to the impending date for Plaintiffs’
depositions, the Court will stay the depositions to allow the motion for
protective order to be fully briefed.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that the depositions of Plaintiffs noticed for March
11, 2009 are stayed pending the Court’s decision on Plaintiffs’ Motion
for Protective Order, or, in the Alternative, an Order Requiring Telephonic
Depositions of Plaintiffs Kirk and Amy Henry
IT IS FURTHER
ORDERED that the Court will hold a hearing on this matter on Thursday,
March 18, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 3A before Magistrate Judge George
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED
that due to the expedited nature of this matter, an opposition to Plaintiffs’
Motion for Protective Order must be filed on or before March 15, 2010.
DATED this 5th day
of March, 2010.
GEORGE FOLEY, JR.
United States Magistrate
Every stalling tactic in the book has been
used by the Rizzolo's legal team to keep this case from going to trial.
Their goal may be to stall the trial until after Mr. Henry, 51, dies of
his injuries, or gives up and settles for dimes on the dollar so he can
put his kids through college. But Henry and his legal team have a different
idea, and are pushing the court to bring finality to this case as soon
In Lisa Rizzolo's subpoena, her attorney
states that Henry's physical presence at the deposition in Las Vegas is
necessary so they could "evaluate his demeanor and credibility as a witness."
Kirk and Amy Henry in their MOTION FOR
PROTECTIVE ORDER counter that they will suffer great expense, discomfort,
and extreme hardship if (Judge Foley requires) they travel to Las Vegas
so Lisa's attorneys can visually evaluate Kirk as a witness That
they "will not be providing controversial testimony in this matter that
will prove or disprove Defendant's fraudulent conduct," and; "As such,
an order requiring a telephonic deposition... is highly appropriate under
Based on the merciless offer tendered by
Lisa's attorneys, it appears they feel they have a powerful bargaining
chip in their hands.
On March 18, if Judge Foley forces Henry
to suffer the hardship of traveling to Vegas this spring for a face-to-face
deposition, and if the Judge's possible Order results in such an extreme
hardship that Henry agrees to Lisa's terms to take his deposition telephonically
in trade for not showing up at the September trial, Lisa's attorneys will
have won a mortal victory.
After reporting on Kirk Henry's tragedy
for over nine years, I believe the only way the Rizzolos can keep their
money is if Henry is not present in the court room during the jury trial.
Henry is the number one witness in the
case and, in my opinion, any attempt to discourage his participation at
trial should be considered witness tampering. If Judge Foley forces the
Henrys to come in person for deposition, it will not be the first time
this Judge has appeared to favor the Rizzolos in this case.
On July 13, 2009, Judge Foley denied Henry's
Motions to Compel Rizzolo's camp to turn over financial records.
Document 73 Filed 02/03/2009 Page 10 of 13
There is substantial
doubt whether the Plaintiffs have any right of recovery against Rick Rizzolo
(emphasis added) other than through the sale of the
Crazy Horse Too business pursuant to the terms of the 2006 settlement agreement.
The Nevada District Court has twice denied Plaintiffs’ motion to reduce
Mr. Rizzolo’s settlement obligations to judgment. The
Court therefore concludes that Plaintiffs should not be permitted to pursue
discovery regarding the alleged fraudulent transfer of Defendant Rick Rizzolo’s
assets until they demonstrate the existence of a viable claim against Mr.
Rizzolo for breach of the 2006 settlement agreement. Absent such a viable
claim, the UFTA (Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act) discovery sought in this
action is, by its nature, irrelevant and unduly burdensome.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel Answers and Responses
to Plaintiff Kirk Henry’s First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for
Production to Defendant Fredrick Rizzolo and For Appropriate Sanctions
(#42) is denied without prejudice. The
Court will permit Plaintiffs to proceed with discovery regarding the alleged
fraudulent transfer of Defendant Fredrick Rizzolo’s assets if Plaintiffs
show that they have a viable claim against Defendant based on his alleged
breach of the parties’ settlement agreement and that Plaintiffs are, in
fact, pursuing a judgment on that claim.
DATED this 3rd day
of February, 2009.
GEORGE FOLEY, JR.
United States Magistrate
Magistrate Judge Foley's sudden February
3, 2009 ORDER stopped
Henry in his tracks!
But the Presiding Judge in this case is
not Judge Foley. It's U.S. Judge Philip Pro who on March 23,
2009, OVERRULED Judge Foley's ORDER and let Henry proceed with discovery.
But even with Judge Pro's approval, Rizzolo
refused to cooperate.
Having already shredded
tons of financial documents, and after his attorneys Dean Patti and
Tony Sgro claimed that the Rizzolo's financial records stored in their
second floor law office were "destroyed
in a flood," (the words "MISSING
INFORMATION" ironically appear on their firm's website), Rizzolo had
few records left to produce!
(Judge Foley failed to require Patti &
Sgro to prove that a flood actually occurred in their office).
Empty handed, Rizzolo changed the subject
by arguing that his 2005 divorce ruling by Family
Court Judge Steve Jones, and a civil court ruling in his favor by District
Court Judge Jackie Glass should take precedence over the U.S. Federal
Court case now in progress. In other words, he believes Judge Pro is acting
outside his jurisdiction by allowing discovery in this case.
Rizzolo then, to try to prove he was broke
and not able to pay his court ordered debts, claimed he could no longer
afford a real attorney and would represent himself Pro Se. However, he
secretly hired a jail house lawyer named James
"Spud" Kimsey to author the following document and many others that
Rick Rizzolo signed.
Document 139 Filed 07/09/2009 Page 1 of 23
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56, respectfully
request this Court to enter an Order for summary judgment in favor of the
Defendants and against the Plaintiffs, as there exists no genuine issue
of material fact and the Defendants are
entitled to judgment as a matter of the applicable law on theory of claim
preclusion, judicial estoppel and waiver.
In the second alternative,
Defendants, pursuant to Nevada Rule of Appellate Procedure 5, respectfully
request this Court to enter an Order to certify questions of law to the
Supreme Court of the State of Nevada.
request pursuant to FeII.R.Civ.P. Rule
26(c) that this Court enter an Order to
stay the discovery orders and discovery
pending decision on the dispositive motions and alternative motion to certify
questions of law to the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada.
The Decree of
Divorce is undisturbed as a final state court order. Because the Plaintiffs
are seeking relief affecting the distribution of community property, only
the original state court and department that issued the Decree of Divorce
has subject matter jurisdiction to grant relief related to setting aside
or modification of its provisions.
DATED this 7th day
of July, 2009.
RICK RIZZOLO , a
individual; and THE
RICK AND LISA RIZZOLO
1760 Amarone Way
Las Vegas, Nevada
The only problem was that Rizzolo did not
reveal that he was not the actual author of this and fifteen other documents
he affixed his name to.
Henry's attorneys persisted with three
Motions to Compel Rizzolo to produce his financial records, and Rizzolo
three times refused to completely answer questions or provide the requested
Rick Rizzolo's most recent answer to their
third Motion to Compel shows his arrogance. He sloppily hand wrote the
following document pleading poverty, a document that the court should use
to charge him with Contempt. Instead, the court is currently
prosecuting James Kimsey (more on this later).
Click on pages to enlarge
The massive secret shredding of financial
documents was photographed
taking place at Rizzolo's office behind the Crazy Horse Too on April 3,
2007 right in the middle of this litigation! (This information has not
yet been submitted to the court.)
Now, Rick Rizzolo argues that he cannot
produce additional records the court needs to determine whether Kirk Henry
and the IRS can be paid. And Rizzolo's ex-wife claims that the money she
hid in the Cook Islands is legally hers and cannot be seized based on the
questionable decision of a troubled Clark County Family Court Judge!
In Rick Rizzolo's second Interrogatory
answers, he repeated THIRTY
NINE times that Plaintiff Kirk Henry must establish that "an order
of the Eighth Judicial District Court is a fraud," in order for it to be
permissible to conduct discovery of his and his ex-wife's personal assets.
In other words, the Rizzolos are depending
completely on a jury accepting their claim that their Decree of Divorce
was legitimate, and the only jurisdiction over their hidden loot resides
in the District Court, not the Federal Court.
Rizzolos are hanging both their hats entirely on the decision of District
Court Judge Steve Jones (left). If the court advises the jury that the
security of the Rizzolo's off-shore fortune hangs on Judge Jones' credibility,
it'll be interesting to see if a jury agrees and lets them keep their off-shore
stash of money -- the quantity still unknown -- based solely on Judge Jones'
signature on their Divorce Decree.
The March 16, 2009 INSIDE
VEGAS column gives a number of reasons for a jury to question if Judge
Jones rendered a legitimate Decree of Divorce that paved the way for Rick
and Lisa to legally transfer their fortune off shore out of the grasp of
Mr. Henry and the IRS. Or was the troubled divorce court judge complicit
in a scheme to elude paying the IRS and Mr. Henry?
Keep in mind that Rick Rizzolo was one
most generous contributors to judicial and political campaigns during
the years he ran the infamous Crazy Horse Too. He personally contributed
hundreds of thousands in cash and checks to judges and politicians, and
the Rizzolos held lavish fund raisers in their home to raise much more.
Based on the lax Nevada campaign reporting laws, it was probable that much
of the cash the Rizzolos raised for judges and politicians went unreported.
I ran for office in Nevada several times
during the late 1980s and early 1990s. I legally accepted bundled donations
from people who didn't want my opponent to know they were supporting me.
Out of state suppliers of local businesses were also asked by those who
didn't want their names mentioned to make contributions to my campaign.
Of course I knew who inspired the out of state checks. The total
I collected -- and reported in one election -- was $342,000 of which $40,000
was cash. I could have pocketed the cash and no one would have known, but
to the dismay of some of my contributors, I reported every cash contribution
and its origin. (I immediately returned an unsolicited $1,000.00 check
from Rick Rizzolo.)
Today, the same lax Nevada laws make it
possible for members of organized crime to "legally" pay off judges and
politicians. There is no penalty on the contributor if a judge or politician
accepts their cash and forgets to report it on their campaign contribution
reports. Often the unreported cash is used to pay personal living expenses
or for luxuries, then the receiver "loans" his campaign money from his
personal account without anyone knowing it was laundered, or from whom
In HENRY vs. RIZZOLO, before a jury
has the chance to decide if the Rizzolo's divorce was a "sham,"
another aspect of this case must be decided in court.
According to information filed last week,
a CONTEMPT OF COURT jury trial that was tentatively scheduled for March
9 in the court of Judge Philip Pro, will probably be continued for 60 days.
And it does not involve Rick Rizzolo!
This "pop up" trial was scheduled at the
behest of U.S. Magistrate Judge Foley regarding allegations he personally
initiated against Rizzolo's ghost writer, James "Spud" Kimsey.
Kimsey, at Rizzolo's behest, authored over
a dozen Motions and assorted court documents on which Rizzolo signed his
name. These documents stalled Henry's case against the Rizzolos for over
Now, based on an Order signed by Magistrate
Judge Foley, Mr. Henry's case is being put on a back burner so Judge
Foley can go after a non-lawyer who secretly authored documents for Rizzolo
at a time he claimed to not be able to afford a real attorney.
Instead of co-prosecuting Rizzolo, the
person who employed Kimsey to file frivolous documents to stall Henry's
case, Judge Foley is pursuing Kimsey severally for Contempt of Court, possibly
to prove to the public that he (Judge Foley) "Means Business!"
This diversion from the long overdue Henry
case is a waste of time and taxpayer's money. And in my opinion, if the
primary defendant Rick Rizzolo is not included with Kimsey as a co-Defendant,
someone is doing Rizzolo a favor.
(On February 22, 2010, Judge Foley did
order that Rick Rizzolo pay Henry's attorneys $5,000 in legal fees for
having to respond to Kimsey and Rizzolo's frivolous Motions. Henry's attorneys
had asked for $16,000. It's not known whether Rizzolo paid as ordered.)
Below are excerpts from Kimsey's taxpayer-paid-for
U.S. Public Defender's well-placed MOTION
TO CONTINUE the trial date for 60 days so she can come up to speed
as to why he, and he alone, is being prosecuted for allegedly showing contempt
to the federal court.
Note that she includes the statement: "The
bench trial in this case arises out of a certification of facts for criminal
contempt from the magistrate court. This is a highly unusual and rarely
employed method of initiating a criminal trial."
In other words, the U.S. Public Defender
is also questioning Magistrate Court Judge Foley's reasons for singling
our her client, and ordering a hurried criminal trial from his bench when
so many worthy issues in this case could have been brought before a jury
over the years?
|MOTION TO CONTINUE
TRIAL DATE REGARDING INTERESTED PARTY JAMES KIMSEY
POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
On January 29,2010,
the Court held a hearing on the order to show cause regarding the criminal
contempt for interested party James Kimsey. The Court set a bench trial
date of March 9, 2010 and a motion submission deadline of February 12,
2010. Calendar call for the trial is set for March 3, 2010.
The defenses seeks
a continuation of this case because additional time is necessary to be
able (to) provide an adequate and effective defense in this case. The government
opposes any continuation of the motion or trial dates.
This is not to suggest
that the government is withholding or refusing to provide relevant discovery.
.Rather the point is to demonstrate that the defense started with almost
no information as it began its investigation into the matters underlying
the criminal allegations in this case.
Given the hundreds
of pleadings in this case and the numerous witnesses in this case, it cannot
be suggested that there is little investigation or evidence to explore
or review. While much of this information may not ultimately be related
to the criminal charges in this case, the defense cannot simply assume
no relation without first reviewing the material.
Second, the lack
of a readily identifiable and small universe of evidence is compounded
by the complicated nature of the proceeding in this case. The
bench trial in this case arises out of a certification of facts for criminal
contempt from the magistrate court (emphasis
added). This is a highly unusual and rarely
employed method of initiating a criminal trial
(emphasis added). The defense is still clarifying all of the legal contours
and parameters associated with such a proceedings as to effectively represent
Mr. Kimsey at the bench trial.
For the reasons stated,
the defense seeks a continuance of sixty (60) days of the motion and trial
for the criminal
contempt case involving James Kimsey.
this 2nd day of March, 2010.
FRANNY A. FORSMAN
Federal Public Defender
Despite Judge Foley's questionable actions,
there is a tiny chance that justice will come sooner-than-later in the
Rick Rizzolo case.
On February 23, 2010, a SUMMONS
was issued requiring Rick Rizzolo to appear in Judge Pro's court on March
22, to answer a myriad of questions posed by his parole officer Eric Christiansen
about why Rizzolo has not begun to pay his court ordered debts as was a
condition of his parole.
It will be interesting to see how Judge
Pro handles Christiansen's
petition that stated: "On December 17, 2009, the offender was asked
to sign a Payment Schedule for U.S. District Court Clerk in which he was
requested to make monthly payments towards his restitution and fine. Mr.
Rizzolo declined, stating that he would not sign the document at the advice
of his attorney."
Will Judge Pro "modify" Rizzolo's conditions
of supervised release by allowing him to ignore his plea agreement and
not pay restitution until after the results of the UFTA trial?
Or will Judge Pro revoke the parole of
a racketeer who has used his "supervised release" time to make a complete
mockery of the U.S. District Court District of Nevada?