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
Chip Off the Old Block
INSIDE VEGAS by
July 23, 2007
VEGAS struck a nerve with the son of convicted
In the column I referred to a person named Benny Behnen
as being a coward for beating up
women. His latest victim was Sandra Murphy whom he reportedly slugged
and kicked in Piero's on July 9.
Behnen , 30, is part of a new breed of local
brats who have no education or skills, but plenty of mom and dad's
money to blow in bars and casinos. Benny's protégé
is Rick Rizzolo's impressionable
23 year old
This was the second
time Behnen has gotten away with
attacking a women in Piero's. A professional bar fly, Behnen has until
exempt from arrest or
prosecution because he's the grandson of the legendary Benny Binion of
Horseshoe Casino fame. The Horseshoe under the ownership of Jack and
Ted Binion and later under the management of the Binion's sister Becky
once a major political campaign contributor to Vegas politicians
including District Attorneys, Judges, and Sheriffs. Under the Behnen's
mis-management, the Horseshoe went broke and its name was sold to
Harrah's. The building still contains a casino, but its on the brink of
closure. (Editor's note:
Jack and Ted Binion contributed $20,000 cash to Steve Miller's 1991
Benny Behnen is nothing like his grand dad who treated women with
respect. Now, Behnen's best friend has come forward to try to make a
Dominic Rizzolo is also the son of a family who is famous for their generous
political campaign contributions -- contributions that have kept
local law enforcement at bay
for over a decade.
Last week's column somehow inspired a threatening email from Dominic, a
young person who idolizes Benny Behnen. However, I suspect the real
reason for his message may be based on fear of losing his financial
security, not his admiration for a thug.
|From: Melissa Hicks
Subject: Dominic Rizzolo
This is Dominic Rizzolo. You have some nerve calling anyone a coward
especially my best friend Benny Benhen (sp). It was you (steve miller)
gave up his own daughter for cocaine that was found in your possession
in a car you were driving . If that isnt (sp) the
of a cunt and a
coward then i dont (sp) know what is. Why dont (sp) you make a copy of
and put it on your website so that people can see just what kind of
person your are. If you were to see any of us around you would scurry
like a frightened rabbit.
I have little regard for Benny Behnen because of his propensity
up women, but I do have some empathy for the younger Dominic who has
ample time to mend his ways and find higher quality friends.
Benny with a big cigar
Benny on June 4, 1997 was accused in a police report by his uncle the late
Ted Binion of
participating in a drive by shooting at Ted's Palomino Lane
Murphy, Ted's live in girl friend, also told
police Benny was one of the shooters. Another confidential
report obtained by INSIDE VEGAS from the Nevada Gaming Control
Board tells of a drunken Benny and his dad Nick Behnen being ordered
off Ted Binion's property at gunpoint. Because of this and his
subsequent attacks on women, I consider
Benny a lost cause.
Like Benny Behnen, Dominic Rizzolo's childhood was anything but normal.
Sources say Dominic was not close to his dad who spent his days and
in his topless bar running an extortion, dope, and prostitution racket.
Dominic was the product of Las Vegas Catholic schools, though he
apparently didn't benefit from the religious experience.
Behnen is the product of a convicted felon father who was once accused
of secretly running the Horseshoe casino after his brother-in-law Ted's
untimely death. Benny's educational background is
unknown. The Behnens and Binions were bitter enemies, hence Benny's
alleged participation in the drive by shooting. Benny is a "poseur"
who never grew up. His idol is his deceased grandfather Benny Binion --
a known killer in his time.
Had the late Benny Binion known his grandson would someday be accused
of trying to kill his favorite son Ted, he would have probably made
sure Benny was aborted in mid term.
After Dominic graduated
from the Our Lady of Las Vegas School
(8th grade photo shown above), sources say he began his high school
getting in trouble with the law.
This inspired dad Rick
Rizzolo to summon the help of his personal
As a favor to the family, the pastor reportedly pleaded for Dominic to
the younger Rizzolo got off whatever charge it was and dropped out of
high school in his junior year. Even though he was under age, Dominic
became a well known fixture in the local bar scene, and the apple of
his dad's eye -- a chip off the old block.
Then came rumors about a buried gun.
I've not been able to confirm this story, but its often said that
Dominic once asked a friend to bury a pistol in his back yard. The
goes that Rick Rizzolo soon called the friend and ordered him to dig up
the gun and bring it to the alley behind the Crazy Horse Too. If
this story is true, the
reason the gun was buried, or the crime it was used to commit, is
Dominic's dad Rick is currently in Federal Prison serving a one year
and one day sentence
for racketeering. In 2005, just weeks before he was
indicted, Rick Rizzolo conveniently divorced his wife Lisa after 25
years of marriage.
According to the LV Sun, she got the family's 5,763-square-foot
home in Canyon Gate, as well as an oceanfront home in Newport Beach,
Calif., and a lake front condominium in Chicago. She also received two
investment accounts worth $7.2 million, and $83,333 per month alimony
along with a 2002 Mercedes S600 and two late model Range Rovers.
I recently uncovered THE
RIZZOLO SEPARATE PROPERTY TRUST, a trust obviously formed by the
Rizzolo's family attorneys Tony Sgro and Dean Patti to try to protect
the couple's wealth from
judgment creditors including beating victim Kirk
Henry, the City of Las
Vegas, and Rizzolo's next door neighbor Buffalo Jim Barrier.
Kirk Henry's neck was broken in 2001 by a Crazy Horse bouncer. The
injury rendered him a quadriplegic. In 2006 Henry won a judgment
against the Rizzolos for $10 million -- a judgment
that's one year past due for payment.
The City of Las Vegas is owed $1 million in fines. Clark County
District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez filed an ORDER allowing auto
Barrier to place a lien
on the Crazy Horse property to secure payment of judgment in the likely
event he wins a 5 year old harassment
law suit against
Rizzolo for trying to make him move out for free so the Crazy Horse
could expand. The city, for some unknown reason, never placed a lien on
Rizzolo's property, probably at the behest of Rizzolo's friend and
former lawyer Mayor
Oscar Goodman -- a stalwart
defender of the Crazy Horse and law partner of attorneys
representing a number of other Crazy Horse goons.
All together, the Rizzolos owe more than $18 million in judgments and
liens, and have yet to pay one cent, though there is more than enough
assets in the THE LISA M
RIZZOLO SEPARATE PROPERTY TRUST to cover all their liabilities
including Kirk Henry's unpaid medical expenses.
Lately, I've been advocating that the fraudulently transferred assets be seized and auctioned to pay the
obligations. I believe this is what motivated Dominic to write his
email. His livelihood depends on the generosity of his parents.
Rick Rizzolo's attorney
successfully convinced U.S. Federal Court Chief Judge Philip Pro, the
LV City Council, the media, and District
Court Judge Jackie Glass (wife of LV City Councilman Steve
Wolfson) that Rick Rizzolo is broke, and the only way he can pay his
debts is through the sale of his former topless bar. Also, that in
order for the bar to be valuable enough to cover the $10 million owed
to the Henry's plus the additional $8 million owed to others, the bar's
liquor license must be in effect.
In sympathy to Sgro's pleading, Judge Pro
and the City Council gave
Rizzolo one year to sell the bar to an interim operator. That
didn't happen. The operator turned out to be a straw man for Rizzolo
and It was
suspected that most of the revenues were skimmed during that period.
Judge Pro and the City Council
Wolfson -- a local criminal defense attorney) were duped into letting a
straw man operate the bar for most
of the year on behalf of Rizzolo who was secretly calling the shots
from prison. Though all the Rizzolos were barred from stepping foot on
the Crazy Horse property, the straw
man was ordered to let young Dominic be general manager with his
uncle Ralph and aunt Annette assisting him. I informed the City
Council, and a special hearing was called. For the second time,
the Rizzolo's were barred from their property.
The LV Review-Journal on Nov. 2,
2006 reported: "Council members pointed to members of the public who
reported that Rizzolos continued to work there. Former councilman and
relentless Crazy Horse Too foe Steve Miller has sent numerous e-mails
and messages to the City Council alleging that the Rizzolos continued
to operate the club. In one, dated Oct. 20, he wrote, 'Rick Rizzolo's
22-year-old son Dominic is now running the CH2 (Crazy Horse Too) with
Rick's brother Ralph as the number two guy.'"
But that didn't stop Dominic from thumbing his nose at the City
Council's order. He was soon reported back in the bar
"higher than a kite and bragging about 'whacking' people," said one
Council fell for Mr. Sgro's line that the bar would be sold for up to
$48 million dollars if it had a permanent liquor license. When that
fizzled, on June 30 the
city shut the place down (until Mayor Oscar Goodman can convince
his obedient Council to let another straw man reopen it).
Last month, Kirk Henry's
Campbell and Stan Hunterton asked Judge Glass for the ability to
examine the Rizzolo's personal assets - not an unusual request in
law suits. Judge Glass
refused, parroting Sgro's line
that the bar had to be sold to generate the Henry's $10 million
their legal fees.
"Stop, stop, please. I did not draft the settlement
said, obviously annoyed. "You have to wait for the sale of this
Her refusal to allow Henry's attorneys to open the Rizzolo's
her sound like another one of Rizzolo's lackeys.
(Local attorneys tell INSIDE VEGAS that Goodman's
law partners have recently been referring new criminal defense
clients to the firm of Wolfson
Nowhere in Rizzolo's plea agreement or judgment does it stipulate the
topless bar must be sold before debts are paid. The Rizzolo's combined
made during the years the crimes occurred, and Mrs. Rizzolo's
now-transferred assets were community property at the time of the
Furthermore, its now obvious the Rizzolos have no intention of selling
the Crazy Horse to any outside party.
According to former Clark County
Family Court Judge Robert Lueck, the Nevada Uniform Fraudulent
Transfer Act is fully applicable to Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's 2005
|In order to pass the
you have to at least have separate
counsel for each party, and go through some kind of legitimate
settlement. This did not occur in the Rizzolo divorce. Tony Sgro's
partner Dean Patti represented both
Rizzolo fraudulently transferred
assets total well over the PAST DUE amounts owed.
It's also past the proper time for Judge Glass to rule based on NRS
112,140 -- pierce the
phony LISA M RIZZOLO SEPARATE PROPERTY TRUST -- and finally
the Henry family some closure from their nightmare.
Back to Dominic.
The TRUST was also set up to
provide life-long sustenance for Rick Rizzolo's two adult children
Dominic and Monica, sister Annette, brother Ralph, and father
I am the only journalist so
far to advocate the reversal of the bogus transfer. If the TRUST is
pierced, Dominic and his family will be forced to alter their life
style -- but not to the extent the lives of Kirk Henry and his family
were altered after his visit to the Crazy Horse Too.
Dominic's email is now in the
hands of the FBI; Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Organized
Crime Bureau; U.S. Prosecutors, and others.
In response to his threatening missive, I offer Dominic this
he gets into real trouble:
You have my
empathy for being part of a very dysfunctional family, and for having a
"best friend" that beats up girls. I don't hold you personally
responsible for the crimes of your relatives and so called friends.
Keep your nose clean, or you'll end up in prison like your dad. He no
longer influences any local
cops, the D.A. or judges.
They've all turned their backs. He's washed up, and your days of
coddling are over. You are now on law enforcement's radar screen. Be
careful. Learn from your father's mistakes and
grow up to be a good man so you can work to clear your family
Steve Miller is currently writing a book about the mob's battle to keep the
Crazy Horse Too open.
* If you would like to receive Steve's frequent E-Briefs about Las Vegas'
scandals, click here: Steve Miller's Las Vegas E-Briefs
Copyright © Steve Miller
email Steve Miller at: Stevemiller4lv@aol.com