Rick Rizzolo and Renate Schiff accused of "Conspiracy, Bribery, Pandering, and Sales of Illegal Drugs"
Las Vegas Tribune
July 12, 2000
By Steve Miller
Following an unsuccessful attempt by landlord Renate Schiff to evict Allstate Auto and Marine to make way for the expansion of the Crazy Horse Too topless club, Allstate’s owner Buffalo Jim Barrier has taken his fight to the United States Federal Court.

In an action filed on Monday, Barrier’s attorney Glade Hall of Reno accused Schiff and Rick Rizzolo, the owner of the Crazy Horse, of violations of the RICO Act, a law prohibiting conspiracy and racketeering.

Barrier’s complaint alleges: "Such violations … include acts of prostitution and sales of illegal drugs. Such acts of prostitution consist of but are not limited to, ‘friction dances’ wherein the male customer puts on a condom and the ‘dancer’ straddles the customer and manipulates her body against the male customer so as to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the male customer. Packets of methamphetamine, and/or other illegal drugs, are sold to customers for the purpose of enhancing the sexual experience of such ‘friction dances.’ Used condoms and empty drug packets are found daily in the parking spaces around the subject premises and constitute a nuisance and are otherwise offensive to persons attempting to patronize Plaintiff's (Barrier’s) legitimate business. Complaints of such activity to Schiff Properties have been ignored."

The complaint goes on to state: "Upon information and belief Defendant Rizzolo has engaged in acts of bribery by the campaign donations to (Former Mayor) Jan Laverty Jones and by campaign donations and other payments to (Councilman) Michael McDonald. Upon information Defendant Rizzolo has made other payments to executives or administrative officers of the City of Las Vegas, a political subdivision of the State of Nevada."

To back his claim that officers of the City of Las Vegas were working in collusion with Rizzolo to force him from his leased premises, Barrier alleges that on several occasions City Marshals were dispatched as a favor to Rizzolo to harass Barrier and his customers. He claims that the Marshals informed him that they were sent by Councilman Michael McDonald.

Rick Rizzolo is a close friend of Councilman McDonald. McDonald leases a house evaluated at $500,000.00 in the Canyon Gate Country Club from the mother in law of Rizzolo associate Joey Cusamano. Cusamano is a member of Nevada’s "Black Book" list of excluded persons. The house is located several blocks from Rizzolo’s residence.

McDonald has been forced to abstain on council votes relating to Rizzolo’s business because of their friendship. Rizzolo is also known for putting on lavish parties in his Canyon Gate home that are attended by judges and politicians including Jan Jones, and Michael McDonald.

The complaint also alleges: " Sometime prior to April 14, 2000, said Defendant, acting through the conspiracy alleged hereinabove devised a scheme and artifice to deprive Plaintiff of his leasehold interest in and to the property located at 2480 Industrial Road, Las Vegas, Nevada, by attempting to evict Plaintiff through illegal and improper means and through a court proceeding without legal foundation. As alleged hereinabove, such actions and acts on the part of all Defendants, was for an unlawful and ulterior purpose of creating additional space for the expansion of the enterprise known as the Crazy Horse Too."

Judge Nancy Oesterle dismissed the eviction on April 3rd.

Attorney Hall also represents that he has proof that "Rick Rizzolo and his father Bart Rizzolo have at various times and at various places stated that they intended to expand the business of the Crazy' Horse Too into the space occupied by (Barrier’s) business Allstate Auto and Marine Electric. And that Rizzolo has prepared written architectural drawings for such expansion.

The topless club allegedly needs Barrier's space for a new entrance when the Nevada Department of Transportation widens Industrial Road in the near future taking the existing club’s entrance and parking spaces. Barrier has eight years left on his lease.

Allstate Auto and Marine has never received an offer from Schiff or Rizzolo to buy out its’ remaining lease according to Barrier.

Therein lies the purported problem. Barrier claims that his landlord is seeking his removal to increase the gross rent for her property, but is doing so without offering him compensation.

Barrier pays Schiff forty-three cents per square foot for his 11,500 square feet. Rizzolo pays ninety-eight cents per foot for the adjoining storefronts that total 26,000 square feet. With Barrier out of the way, the topless club would have ample room for an elaborate new entrance and additional parking.

Glade Hall refers to the following paragraph from the RICO complaint as the basis for his client’s troubles: "Such legal process is and has been employed by Renate Schiff illegally, improperly and for the perverted use of terminating the leaseholds of Plaintiff (Barrier) so as to enable Schiff Properties to lease the subject premises to Defendant Frederick Rizzolo for use in the business of the Crazy Horse Too, at a greatly increased rental rate."

The case is expected to be tried in District Court within the next year.