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Goodman: Crazy Horse fines must be paid first

Las Vegas wants the money it’s owed by the Crazy Horse Too topless club before the city will consider reissuing the licenses needed to reopen the business, Mayor Oscar Goodman said.

The city slapped the club with a $2.2 million fine in 2006 after a federal investigation ended with club owner Rick Rizzolo guilty of tax evasions charges. It’s part of the millions the club owes in fines, penalties and judgments, including a multimillion-dollar verdict in favor of a patron who was paralyzed in a fight with a club employee.

The U.S. Marshals Service seized the club in 2006 when fines weren’t paid. On Wednesday , a sales contract was filed in federal court, and one of the conditions of the $10.5 million sale is that the club get all the needed licenses by Nov. 30. That deadline was originally May 1, but was extended.

“We have to get paid first,” Goodman said. “I want the city of Las Vegas to get that, and then I’ll talk to the feds.

“I want the $2 million so I can hire 20 more employees.”

The fine has been challenged and is currently being litigated, said city spokesman Jace Radke. The city had not received any license applications for the property as of Friday.

The would-be buyer is CC Holdings LLC, a company managed by Chris Condotti of Chicago, according to state records.

The club needs a special-use zoning permit, a liquor license, a sexually oriented business license, a tobacco license and a retail sales license. The special-use permit would have to be approved by the City Council.

The marshals service went to federal court in 2008 seeking an injunction that would stop the city from rescinding the club’s licenses, which were due to expire. There was another buyer waiting then, but council members weren’t satisfied that the financing was in order and the required background check hadn’t been completed.

A judge declined the marshal’s request, saying it would be a federal intrusion into matters within the city’s jurisdiction.

He also faulted the federal government for waiting until the last minute instead of protecting the business licenses, which added substantially to the property’s value.

Contact reporter Alan Choate
at achoate@reviewjournal.com or 702-229-6435.

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