Former strip club owner pleads not guilty to tax charges

LAS VEGAS -- Former Las Vegas strip club owner Rick Rizzolo plead not guilty in federal court Thursday to charges the he tried to evade more than $2.5 million in employment and income taxes.

The judge released Rizzolo on his own recognizance with some conditions. He must surrender his passport and cannot open any new bank accounts or lines of credit. He is set to be back in court on Sept. 15.

A federal grand jury indicted Rizzolo Wednesday on two counts of attempting to evade and defeat the payment of taxes. Special agents with IRS Criminal Investigation arrested him Wednesday afternoon.

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

The indictment alleged that from June 2006 through May 2011, Rizzolo allegedly attempted to evade the payment of roughly $1.7 million in employment taxes that he owed for 2000 to 2002, and $861,075 in income taxes owed for 2006.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phillip Smith, Jr. and Sarah Griswold.



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