attorneys seize Rick Rizzolo's
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65
"Gangster" continues mocking
the Federal Court
First he threw himself a
going to prison party
Then he bought himself a
while debts to Henry and
Rizzolo's former 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 BiTurbo V12
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
August 8, 2011
LAS VEGAS - On Thursday evening, August
4, 2011, former Crazy Horse Too owner Rick
Rizzolo was enjoying a quiet dinner with friends. Just outside Piero's
Restaurant near the Strip, Las Vegas Constables were seizing Rizzolo's
favorite toy over the objections of a loyal parking attendant. Soon, the
entrance to the bistro was abuzz with Vegas luminaries including Piero's
owner Fredde Glusman watching the goings on.
Some background: In April, 2008, Rizzolo
was released from prison after serving an abbreviated ten month sentence
for tax evasion. Upon his release, he was placed on parole for the next
three years. During that time, Rizzolo was required to report all his financial
transactions to his Parole Officer Eric Christiansen. He was also required
to pay over $27 million in court ordered personal debts.
Sometime during the first year of his supervised
release program, Rizzolo obtained a shiny black $180,000, 2009 Mercedes
SL65 sports car. He did so without reporting the acquisition to Christiansen,
beating victim Kirk Henry, or the IRS.
During Rizzolo's pre-sentence plea negotiations
in 2005, he agreed to pay Henry $9 million in restitution for injuries
suffered in 2001 when Henry's neck was broken by a Crazy Horse Too manager
over a disputed bar tab. Henry has been a quadriplegic ever since. Rizzolo
agreed to pay the restitution in exchange for a feather light sentence.
After Rizzolo's release from prison, he
paid Henry a total of only $4,000 while claiming to have no money, but
continued living a lavish lifestyle in the Roma Hills section of Henderson,
an exclusive enclave located several miles south of Las Vegas.
On July 21, 2011, United States Judge Philip
Rizzolo to return on September 14, 2011 to Federal Prison to serve an additional
nine months for violating the provisions of his parole including his non-payment
of Henry's restitution, and failure to report large financial transactions.
Judge Pro also extended Rizzolo's parole for an additional 24 months after
his next release from prison.
But most troubling to Rizzolo was that
Judge Pro prohibited
him from gambling, ordered him to stay out of casinos, and ordered
him to immediately repatriate back to the U.S. the ill-gotten assets his
ex-wife Lisa secretly transferred off shore following a hasty 2005 divorce
that took place three months before Rick began his plea negotiations. Lisa
made the transfers with the help of "asset protection" attorney John
Dawson, the brother of a Federal Court Judge.
At the time of the July 21 sentencing,
Judge Pro was not aware of the Mercedes-Benz.
This was not the first time Rick Rizzolo
tried to fool the court. Back in 2006, during the months leading up to
his original prison term, Rizzolo feigned
sickness to delay reporting to prison in his criminal case, or being
deposed in Kirk Henry's civil action. Rizzolo's sentencing was first scheduled
for September 15, 2006. Then it was postponed until December 8. Then it
was delayed until Dec. 18, all purportedly for health reasons. Meanwhile,
residents of the plush Park Towers and Turnberry Place condominiums in
Las Vegas reported Rick's late night activities, and their stories dispelled
the claim that he was sick!
Rizzolo was also seen in the company of
strippers at the Hilton and other hotels chain smoking and drinking while
gambling hundreds of thousands of dollars -- money pledged to the Henrys
and the IRS. Rizzolo, then 47, reportedly told his friends his heart condition
was "upgraded," and he's on heavier medication. His friends said it would
be a miracle if he lived long enough to go to prison.
On April 29, 2007, with several Appeals
and Requests for Reconsideration of his sentence laying on Judge Pro's
desk, Rizzolo threw himself a "Farewell Party" at Fredde Glusman's former
Ritz Restaurant in Newport Beach, the exclusive Southern California town
where the Rizzolo's have a luxurious beach house on Ocean Front Drive.
INSIDE VEGAS had someone stationed at the
secret Ritz party, and on May 7, 2007, I wrote a column
on AmericanMafia.com breaking news of the festivities, and a follow
up column on May 21 telling of how the party backfired. One day later
on May 22, Rizzolo reported to prison.
This is how my source described the melancholy
evening: "I despise these people. Rizzolo had Joe Pesci, Jerry Tarkanian,
Gary Primm among other old Las Vegas cronies of his that have one foot
in the grave. They were accompanied by silicon filled hookers that stood
out at the Ritz like the Grand Wizard of the KKK at a Martin Luther King
rally. Others present were very prominent professionals in business in
the Newport Beach area. Guests were all met by Ritz employees dressed in
prison outfits pointing machine guns at them. All guests were provided
with handcuffs and other prison/inmate related novelties. In addition,
all guests had their pictures taken while standing behind a makeshift prison
cell with jail bars with Taft Penitentiary booking number and all. It was
meant to be a slap in the face to the Feds."
After learning of the extravagant party,
Judge Pro threw out all of Rizzolo's appeals, requests for reconsideration,
and motions to delay his incarceration. That's when Rizzolo officially
became a resident of the maximum security Los
Angeles Federal Detention Center, and became known as Inmate
It appears Rizzolo's arrogance screwed
up his chance of being assigned to the Taft
Minimum Security Camp outside Bakersfield, a virtual country club compared
to the downtown LA jail with balconies covered by razor wire.
Rizzolo's over the top parties ended --
temporarily -- but resumed immediately after he was released from prison
and when he became the proud owner of a brand new Mercedes-Benz L65
Kirk Henry and the IRS continued waiting
less-than-patiently for their money while Rizzolo's legal team flooded
the court with more frivolous motions.
It was as if Rizzolo was purposefully trying
to make a mockery of Judge Pro, the United States Federal Court System,
Kirk Henry, and the Internal Revenue Service.
With Henry's attorneys Don Campbell, Stan
Hunterton, and Phil Erwin vowing "We'll follow this gangster to the gates
of Hell," private investigators were reportedly hired to watch Rick and
Lisa Rizzolo's every move. That's when the Mercedes was discovered.
P.O. Christiansen and the Court were informed
of Rizzolo's continued lifestyle and his expensive turbocharged ride, that's
when things began to change.
During the days following Judge Pro's July
21 Order re-sentencing Rizzolo to additional prison time and supervised
release, the esteemed jurist continued to pound his gavel in response to
newly tendered information about the racketeer and his mysterious ex-wife.
On July 28, 2011, Judge Pro DENIED
Lisa Rizzolo's Motion for Summary Judgment. In her Motion, she tried, but
failed to get Kirk Henry's Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act Motion dismissed.
Also on July 28, Judge Pro ORDERED
that Kimtran Rizzolo, Rick's mother in law, could be included as a Defendant
in Kirk Henry's lawsuit. Henry contends that Kimtran laundered $789,000
from the sale of the Philadelphia Crazy Horse Too.
Then on August 1, 2011, Henry's attorneys
filed a MOTION
to hold Vince
Piazza in Contempt. They claim Piazza, Rizzolo's business partner in
the Philly club, failed to follow a Court Order to transfer to the Henrys
hundreds of thousands of dollars being held for the Rizzolos in Piazza's
Bank of America account.
True to form, on the same day Judge Pro
denied Lisa's motion, and ordered that Kimtran can be sued, Rizzolo's latest
Gentile filed a fully expected NOTICE OF APPEAL with the Ninth Circuit
Court in San Francisco.
However, as Gentile is aware, four previous
Rizzolo appeals to the Ninth Circuit have been dismissed in this drawn
out case, and in order to succeed with this latest appeal, he must prove
that during the five days of hearings, Judge Pro "made substantial mistakes
that seriously affected the outcome of the case."
This flies in the face of Judge
Pro's 24 year tenure on the United States District Court bench. His
decisions have seldom if ever been reversed.
Gentile, a shareholder in the Gordon Silver
law firm, filed this latest appeal for his client in order to try to reverse
all of Judge Pro's rulings. Doing so will cost Rizzolo (or whomever is
paying his legal bills) tens of thousands of additional dollars, money
meant for Henry, the IRS, and others.
Based on Rizzolo's dismal record with the
Court of Appeals, it's fully expected that the Court will again promptly
Dismiss his latest Appeal as frivolous and only meant to further stall
incarceration and debt payments. (The Court's quickest Dismissal of a Rizzolo
Appeal took only 23 days.)
Here's a list of Rizzolo's previous Appeals
that were Dismissed by the Ninth Circuit:
Date Filed: 03/18/2008
Date Disposed: 08/21/2009 Disposition: Rule 42-1
Dismissal - Judge Order
Date Filed: 05/21/2008
Date Disposed: 07/31/2008 Disposition: FRAP 42b
Dismissal - Clerk Order
Date Filed: 07/29/2008
Date Disposed: 08/21/2009 Disposition: Rule 42-1
Dismissal - Judge Order
Date Filed: 02/17/2011
Date Disposed: 05/25/2011 Disposition: FRAP 42b
Dismissal - Staff Atty Order
An appeal of a judgment such as the one
filed by Mr. Gentile does not necessarily prevent that judgment from being
carried out. While the legal system gives parties an opportunity to appeal
a judgment, it does not intend to do so as an avenue to avoid sentencing.
If so, sentences could be postponed for years based on appeals to Federal
Circuit Courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
In order to postpone Rizzolo's sentence
during his Appeal, Rizzolo must be granted a Stay of Judgment by Judge
Pro, and that seems highly unlikely.
If Judge Pro does not issue a Stay of Judgment
after giving Gentile five full court days to make his case, Rick Rizzolo
will have to report to Federal Prison on September 14 to begin his new
nine month sentence regardless of the sometimes years long appeal process.
Rick's extensive parole revocation hearings, he sat in Judge Pro's court
slouched in his seat, chewing gum, and giggling. He also consistently wore
a $30,000 Rolex Daytona Oyster Perpetual 18kt Gold Automatic watch to court
as shown in this February 28, 2011 AmericanMafia.com photo by Mike Christ,
all while Rizzolo
was pleading poverty.
Based on the surprise seizure of Rick's
Mercedes, Court observers are now wondering how long it will take the Constable's
Office to seize the valuable
Swiss time piece, and whether it will be done in a public setting to
further humiliate Rizzolo?
And as far as Rick being able to get around
town without the power of twelve cylinders, sources at Piero's report that
Glusman handed his pal the keys to his personal luxury car to make sure
Rick has prestigious wheels until he reports to prison on September 14
when he will no longer have such a need.
According to Nevada law, the Constable
has ten days to advertise and auction off seized items. INSIDE VEGAS will
be at the auction to see if one of Rizzolo's cronies, possibly Fred
Doumani, shows up to bid. Doumani claims to be paying Rizzolo's legal
bills as an act of kindness. In his deposition,
when asked why he allegedly was paying Rizzolo's legal bills, Doumani said:
"I'll pay it. I cannot stand to see what's, what's happening here."
Who knows? The Benz could somehow fall
back into Rizzolo's hands with a little help from his friends. According
to the Kelly
Blue Book, the car is presently worth $127,875 in excellent condition,
not a bad investment in today's luxury car market.
Rizzolo is still suspected of having millions
in cash secreted in casino cage lock boxes. It would be magic if he was
somehow spending his own unreported cash on legal bills and expensive cars
right under the noses of Judge Pro and Kirk Henry.
Nonetheless, the "donation" of expensive
legal defense services might be considered in-kind income by the IRS, and
could come back to haunt Rizzolo, et. al.
While all of the above is going on, John
Dawson, the "asset protection" attorney who hid the Rizzolo's ill-gotten
assets right in the middle of a well publicized personal injury lawsuit
and federal investigation, is being taken to task by his peers.
While John Dawson and his law firm Lionel
Sawyer Collins were happily receiving a reported $80,000 for their "asset
protection" service to the Rizzolos, John's
brother Federal Judge Kent Dawson failed to disclose his sibling's
enrichment while doling out feather light sentences to 15 of the Rizzolo's
Though it's not
against the law for a licensed attorney to hide a client's ill-gotten
assets, or for a Federal Judge to skip making proper disclosures, members
of the national legal community have taken clear notice of such events
that appear to be happening exclusively in Las Vegas.
"I suspect the next we hear of this
case will be about a contempt hearing to incarcerate the debtors/beneficiaries
until the moneys come back from offshore. Rick Rizzolo was released from
prison in April 2008, and Lisa Rizzolo was apparently never charged for
anything, so both are available for incarceration if the trust assets are
not returned. Stay tuned."
These are the words of highly respected
asset protection attorney Jay Adkisson of the firm Riser
Adkisson's website describes him as: "Nationally known as a leading
critic of abusive asset protection and offshore strategies." "...a
leading foe of those who promote abusive tax schemes or financial frauds."
"Jay's lectures have included 'The Ethics and Morality of Asset
Protection Planning' (presentation to the American Bar Association), 'Avoiding
Fraudulent Transfers', and 'Why Offshore Trusts Fail'."
With Rick temporarily tooling around in
borrowed wheels, a Federal Judge who has become very impatient, and a supposed
"asset protection" lawyer trying to save his self tarnished reputation,
we may have begun the final chapter in this ad nauseam saga.
If attorney Adkisson is correct in regard
Rizzolo being "..available for incarceration if the trust
assets are not returned," then Kirk Henry's legal team may be
about to strike pay dirt.
But if Lisa refuses to repatriate her ex-husband's
stash and is indicted, we'll soon learn if Rick is man enough to pay his
court ordered debts and not let his wife, the mother of his children, go
to jail for violating a Federal Judge's Order.