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Thursday, June 08, 2017

Former Las Vegas Strip Club Owner Pleads Guilty to Evading More than $1.7 Million in Employment Taxes



The former owner of a Las Vegas, Nevada strip club pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in the District of Nevada to evading employment taxes, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre for the District of Nevada.

According to documents filed with the court, Frederick John Rizzolo, 58, of Las Vegas, the former owner of The Crazy Horse Too, evaded paying more than $1.7 million in employment taxes that he owed for 2000 through 2002. Rizzolo paid The Crazy Horse Too’s floormen, bouncers, bartenders and shift managers in cash, but failed to provide accurate records of these payments to the Club’s bookkeepers. As a result, Rizzolo caused false employment tax returns to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which underreported wages paid and thus the taxes due. In 2006, Rizzolo admitted this conduct and pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States. Following his plea, however, Rizzolo took affirmative steps to conceal his assets and income to thwart the IRS from collecting the delinquent taxes that he owed. For example, Rizzolo directed $900,000 that he received from the sale of the Crazy Horse Too to an offshore bank account in the Cook Islands. He also withdrew $50,000 from a bank account, writing a check to a third party, who in turn provided the money back to Rizzolo, thereby avoiding an IRS levy and seizure of the funds. Additionally, Rizzolo lied to an IRS collections attorney, falsely stating that he had no income or assets and no ability to pay the taxes owed.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 15. If the court accepts the parties’ agreement, Rizzolo will be sentenced to a period of 24 months in prison and will be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,637,290 to the IRS.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Myhre thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip N. Smith Jr. and Trial Attorney Rebecca J. Sable of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

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