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
Rizzolo's personal lawyer
Why 16 Crazy Horse defendants
got off with slaps on the wrist
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
September 10, 2007
Dawson brothers - Judge Kent and Attorney John
LAS VEGAS - In 2005, immediately
following Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's hasty
divorce and three weeks after the about-to-be convicted racketeer
began negotiating his plea agreement with Federal Government
Prosecutors, the couple, on advice of their shared divorce attorneys
Dean Patti and Tony Sgro visited the highly respected law firm of
Lionel Sawyer and Collins in
Las Vegas, a law firm closely associated with United States Senator
Harry Reid. There they met with attorney John E. Dawson, the brother of
U.S. Federal Court Judge Kent Dawson.
Patti and Sgro made a very wise choice of what attorney to recommend to
write the Rizzolo's property trust. Attorney Dawson's brother was the
Federal Judge assigned to preside over the trials of 16 of the 17
Crazy Horse Too defendants.
Throwing conflicts of interest to the wind, attorney Dawson went right
setting up the "LISA M. RIZZOLO SEPARATE PROPERTY TRUST." And his
brother the judge never uttered a word about it.
In to the trust Mr. Dawson
transferred most of the couple's assets including a 5,763-square-foot home on the Canyon Gate
Golf Course in Las Vegas; a 4,000-square-foot oceanfront home in lush
Newport Beach, California; a lake front condominium in Chicago; and
five luxury cars along with a $7.2 million dollar annuity. Rick
Rizzolo got to keep his infamous Crazy Horse Too topless bar, and
several expensive cars (plus millions of dollars in cash he's alleged
to have stashed
in safety deposit boxes at the MGM and Palms casinos).
Document Type: Trust
Deed Recorded: 08/29/2006 16:25:41 Pgs: 5
SAWYER ET AL
Party: RIZZOLO, LISA M EE
LISA M RIZZOLO
SEPARATE PROPERTY TRUST THE
Party: LMR TRUST AGREEMENT THE
Description: ParcelNum: 16305711072
Attorney Dawson did this even though Rick Rizzolo's battle
with the FBI and IRS was front page news at the time.
Within weeks of setting up her trust, Lisa Rizzolo took out hefty
mortgages on the three houses and promptly hid the cash according to
Then according to FBI
documents Rick Rizzolo
immediately obtained a second mortgage on the Crazy Horse property for
$5 million and also hid the proceeds which he took in U.S. currency.
Combined with the strip bar's $5
million first mortgage, he encumbered the shuttered property to well
over its present market value without an operating liquor license.
Excerpts from John E. Dawson's resume
state: "Mr. Dawson has extensive practice experience in estate,
business... wills.... revocable living trusts... asset protection planning (emphasis
added)... and all related corporate law in support of entity formation,
including corporations, family limited partnerships, and limited
liability companies. He is co-author of Asset
Protection Guidebook (emphasis
added) for Attorneys and
With so much experience in the art of
asset protection -- a skill many believe to be slight of hand when used
to hide assets from seizure by the courts -- John E. Dawson was exactly
the kind of attorney the Rizzolos needed to retain their ill-gotten
fortune in the face of imminent forfeiture by another U.S. Federal
After setting up the separate trust, the Rizzolo's hired John
E. Dawson as the Resident Agent for the
Crazy Horse Too's parent corporation, "THE POWER COMPANY, INC."
|THE POWER COMPANY, INC.
Business Entity Information
Status: Active File Date: 6/19/1972
Type: Domestic Corporation Corp Number:
Qualifying State: NV List of Officers Due:
Resident Agent Information
Name: JOHN E. DAWSON, ESQ.
Address 1: 300 S. FOURTH ST.
Address 2: SUITE 1700 City: LAS VEGAS
State: NV Zip Code: 89101
Two years after their meeting with Mr. Dawson, the family of beating
victim Kirk Henry, the IRS, City of Las Vegas, and Rizzolo's next
door neighbor Buffalo
Jim Barrier are wondering how they ever will collect all the
court-ordered fines, forfeitures and settlements in their combined claims against the Rizzolos
-- claims totaling over $28 million dollars? So far, Federal Court
Chief Judge Philip M. Pro who sentenced Rick Rizzolo to one year and
one day in the Los Angeles Federal Detention Center has not mentioned
going after Lisa Rizzolo's illegally transferred assets. Meanwhile, on
Wednesday, August 29, 2007, Judge Pro ordered U.S. Federal
Marshals to seize
the out-of-business Crazy
Horse Too topless
bar and its contents, along with its 2.7 acres of Industrial Road real
estate (possibly to keep Rick Rizzolo's family from burning it down to
After the seizure,
Rick's sister Annette
(left), brother Ralph
(center), and father Bartholomew
(standing near FBI agent in this Feb. 1, 2003 AmericanMafia.com photo
Mike Christ), were
observed on four occasions illegally entering the strip club to
allegedly steal items that were seized by the government. It's long
been suspected that Rick Rizzolo stashed guns, drugs, and cash in
hiding places within the building. For some unknown reason, U.S.
Marshals did not change the locks to prevent the Rizzolos from
At 11:30 AM Tuesday, Sept.
4, Bart and Ralph Rizzolo were observed entering the building
with several LVMPD
officers. At 12:30 PM, PDT, they
were still on the property with the officers according to witnesses.
It's long been suspected that Rick Rizzolo bought
favors from a small group of corrupt police officers who work out
of the Southeast
Command even though the Crazy Horse is located in the Downtown Command.
After officers left the seized property, Ralph Rizzolo remained
inside for three more hours. The FBI was called, but arrived after
Rizzolo had already left.
The only mention of where the money would come from to pay all of
Rizzolo's liens is
in Federal Court documents that list three very questionable buyers who
purportedly offered between $29 and $34 million. Not mentioned in the
documents is San Francisco office building developer Luke Brugnara who submitted a written offer of $10
million with an agreement to assume the $5 million dollar first
It's thought that anyone willing to pay up
to three times market value would for such a place would have to be
associated with La
Cosa Nostra and fully know the potential of reopening the bar to resume
the racketeering, extortion, prostitution, and dope sales that made
Rizzolo filthy rich.
Brugnara tells INSIDE VEGAS that he's the son of a law enforcement
officer, nephew of the former San Francisco Chief of Police, and his
brother and sister in law are U.S. Federal Prosecutors in California.
He told INSIDE VEGAS his offer is more than fair. He may be right
especially since he would have to apply for a new liquor license from a
city council that may not be receptive to someone with no ties to the
mayor, his law partners, or the mob.
Rizzolo paid $5.5 million for the land and building in 2003 and at the
time was thought to have been taken advantage of by the seller. Today,
real estate experts say the
property is worth no more than $8 million closed down, especially since
the Nevada Department of Transportation released plans to to take a 23
foot deep swath of the property's frontage through eminent domain for a road
widening. This will wipe out the front entrance of the topless bar
and force its relocation to the alley behind the building.
Also, for the past seven years, all adult businesses in Las Vegas have
been extorted by greedy hotel door men, limo, taxi, and van drivers who
demand $30 - $70 per passenger, or they boycott the business. This
quasi-legal practice drains hundreds of thousands of dollars in
unreported cash from club owners each month. The Crazy Horse was the
biggest target because Rizzolo started
the problem by being the first to bribe drivers to bring customers
to his door.
Meanwhile Kirk Henry, who was rendered a quadriplegic by one of
after he disputed an $88 bar tab, sits in his wheelchair collecting
unpaid medical bills waiting for the remainder of his $9 million
dollar judgment. (He received $1 million from Rizzolo's insurance in
Kent Dawson was a humble Henderson Justice of the Peace
until 1999 when Senator
Reid (left) appointed
him to the Federal Bench. With a Federal Judge as a brother, John E.
Dawson was soon recruited into the
prestigious law firm where he now enjoys status as a stockholder, and
list of prestigious clients including the Rizzolos.
What makes this all so highly disturbing is that Judge Dawson
real easy on 16 former Crazy Horse goons after they pleaded guilty
crimes including racketeering,
tax evasion, robbery, and extortion; this after U.S. Federal
Prosecutors asked for harsh sentences; and after a member of the New
York Crime Commission testified about several of the defendant's mob
Would Judge Dawson have been so lenient with the Crazy Horse goons if
his brother had not gained lucrative clients like Rick and Lisa
Rizzolo? Or had he not been appointed a Federal Judge by the business
partner of one of the Crazy Horse Too's attorneys?
Judge Dawson sentenced
Crazy Horse shift manager Vinny
Faraci, a reputed Bonanno crime family soldier who
had a prior felony conviction, to only five
months in an Arizona Federal
According to the Las
Vegas Review-Journal, Faraci
received a 10-month sentence from Judge Dawson, but the judge is
allowing him to spend five months in prison and the remainder on house
arrest. Dawson lessened Faraci's sentence after his attorney David Chesnoff argued at the sentencing hearing
that Faraci risked losing custody of his children if he received a
lengthy prison term.
According to Review-Journal columnist
John L. Smith; "Although the New York Crime Commission confirmed
Faraci's mob status, U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson said the
defendant's underworld fraternal order had no bearing on his decision
to sentence Faraci to just 10 months in jail with five of that to be
served in a halfway house. He received a wrist slap and no mob jacket.
If, as Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Johnson contended at his January
sentencing, Faraci condoned the occasional vicious beating at the club,
the judge apparently wasn't much impressed."
But what's even more disturbing
is that Faraci's attorney
David Chesnoff is Mayor Oscar Goodman's law
partner. Prior to being elected mayor, Goodman was Rick Rizzolo's
criminal defense attorney and got him off with a gross misdemeanor
after Rizzolo almost beat a Crazy Horse patron to death with a baseball
bat. The patron, Rick Sandlin, died three years later of his
injuries. Chesnoff works with Goodman's other law partner Jay Brown.
Brown who is the business
partner of Senator Harry Reid who appointed
I'm sorry, but this looks very incestuous.
Mayor Goodman's law
partner and Senator Reid's business partner Jay Brown (left) was
the Crazy Horse
Too's lawyer when straw man Mike Signorelli appeared before the LV City
Council claiming to be buying the bar and property. This ploy stalled
the forfeiture of the bar for almost a year. Brown's name has
surfaced in organized
according to the Washington
Post. Prior to Judge Dawson's brother taking
the Resident Agent position, Brown and Goodman
served as Rick Rizzolo's corporate
agents. Up until its seizure,
both Brown and Goodman did everything within their power to keep the
blood soaked bar open for business.
(Review-Journal photo by Clint Karlsen)
Not once during
the trials did Judge Dawson disclose that his brother John was the
Crazy Horse Too's corporate Resident Agent, or that his brother
arranged to hide the Rizzolo's assets from forfeiture, or that he was
appointed to the Federal Bench by Senator Reid who is the business
partner of Jay Brown who is the law partner of Oscar Goodman who was
once Rizzolo's criminal defense attorney and former corporate Resident
But this story gets even
While in Federal Prison, Faraci on April 24, 2007 had his lawyer Chesnoff
apply for a Clark County Liquor
License so Faraci could operate a topless bar to be named "Eden" after
his release from prison. The County wisely turned down this arrogant
request after I wrote an INSIDE
VEGAS column about it. When asked how such an application made it
on to the County
Commission's agenda, a spokesperson for the County told INSIDE VEGAS, "Faraci had a high powered attorney who
wanted it on the consent agenda." Multiple items
on the consent agenda are voted on in one motion without discussion.
Chesnoff actually thought he had the juice to pull this off!
Judge Kent Dawson should have recused. If not, he should've at least
disclosed his relationships. But he did neither before slapping the
wrists of the "Crazy Horse 16."
Now, thanks to the Dawson brothers, it will be a miracle if the family
of Kirk Henry receives more than a fraction of their judgment, while
the Rizzolos get to spend their hidden cash.
© Steve Miller
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