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July 24, 2014

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Former Crazy Horse Too owner Rick Rizzolo indicted on federal tax charges

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Steve Marcus / File photo

The Crazy Horse Too strip club on Industrial Road is shown in September 2007.

Former Las Vegas strip club owner Rick Rizzolo was indicted by the federal grand jury today on charges that he attempted to evade more than $2.5 million in taxes.

The two-count indictment charges Rizzolo, former owner of the Crazy Horse Too strip club, with evading $1.7 million in employment tax payments from 2000 to 2002 and evading $860,000 in income taxes from 2008 to 2011.

A news release from the office of Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. attorney for Nevada, said special agents with IRS Criminal Investigation arrested Rizzolo this afternoon. He will be scheduled for an initial appearance and arraignment before a federal magistrate judge on Thursday.

If convicted, Rizzolo faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine on each count.

Rizzolo is no stranger to the federal court system. In 2006 Rizzolo pleaded guilty to a federal tax conspiracy charge stemming from an intense federal investigation into a string of beatings and other illicit activities at the Crazy Horse Too, 2476 S. Industrial Road.

He was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and ordered to sell the Crazy Horse Too. The sale of the club was supposed to provide Rizzolo with the money to pay court-ordered fines and debts totaling $24 million.

The U.S. Marshals Service assumed ownership of Crazy Horse Too in 2007 as part of a plea agreement with Rizzolo. Canico Capital Group LLC bought the club in 2011 for $3 million.

Rizzolo served 10 months in prison on the 2006 tax evasion conviction. But he was ordered in 2011 to serve 11 months for deceiving his parole officer about hiding the $10 million due to Kirk Henry, a Kansas tourist beaten in 2001 by bouncers in a dispute over an $80 bar bill at the club. The beating left Henry as a quadriplegic. Henry and his wife, Amy, won the judgment after filing suit.

In May of this year, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Rizzolo fraudulently placed large sums of money in a hidden account for his father, Bart Rizzolo, to avoid paying the Henrys the remainder of the judgment. Kimtran Rizzolo, stepmother of Rizzolo, filed the appeal in federal court, saying the money was transferred to pay debts prior to the judgment favoring the Henrys.

The court said there was no solid evidence the money was set aside to pay other prior debts. And Rizzolo concealed the transfer of the money.

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