Thursday, February 22, 2007

Joey the Clown's Brother Gets Probation

Friends of ours: Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, Rocco Lombardo
Friends of mine: Rick Rizzolo

The brother of reputed mob boss Joey "the Clown" Lombardo was sentenced Wednesday to 60 months' probation for conspiracy in a tax fraud scheme centered at a strip club in Las Vegas.

Sixteen individuals, including Lombardo's brother Rocco, have pleaded guilty to the conspiracy scheme for underreporting cash they received while working at the Crazy Horse Too strip club.

The case stems from a lengthy federal investigation of the strip club and owner Ricky Rizzolo. Rizzolo formerly owned and managed a Chicago strip club also known as the Crazy Horse Too. He was paid as much as $240,000 to manage the club here, according to court records.

Joey Lombardo has pleaded innocent in Chicago to racketeering charges that accuse him of murder and extortion. He was arrested last year after nine months in hiding following his indictment.

Rizzolo and Rocco Lombardo would dine with Joey Lombardo when Rizzolo came to Chicago on business, court records show. And when Joey Lombardo disappeared, FBI agents went looking for him in Las Vegas.

In court filings, John Spilotro, the attorney for Rocco Lombardo, argued that a probation report linking him to his brother was unfair. He asked the court to delete a reference to Joey Lombardo as being the head of the Chicago Outfit and his arrest on the pending federal charges in Chicago.

Spilotro asked the judge for probation for Rocco, citing his lack of involvement in prior criminal activity, his age, and his deteriorating health.

Rocco Lombardo, 71, was known as a body builder and health-food advocate, according to lawyers. He once operated a restaurant in Melrose Park called "Rocky's" and served as a floor manager at the Las Vegas club.

Last month, Rizzolo was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for his role in the tax fraud. His plea agreement required him to sell the business and pay nearly $17 million in fines and restitution.

Thanks to Ray Gibson

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