Strip club that Sopranos club was based on being shut down
TRENTON » “Bada Bing” has been bada banged by the authorities.
The New Jersey gentleman’s club depicted in the mob crime drama “The Sopranos” is being stripped of its ability to have “live entertainment,” authorities announced Thursday.
The Satin Dolls club in Lodi, the backdrop of the fictional “Bada Bing” strip joint in the HBO hit television show “The Sopranos,” has until Dec. 17 to stop providing live entertainment and must give up its liquor license, authorities said. A.J.’s Gentleman’s Club in Secacus is also facing shutdown.
The club’s owners — identified as members of the Cardinalle family — have been under state investigation for more than six years, Attorney General Christopher Porrino said in a news release.
The clubs have until a Jan. 3, 2018, deadline to sell or transfer their liquor licenses to a third party as part of a previous consent order authorities contend the owners disregarded.
Investigators said the club owners acted like real mob bosses from the hit mafia series. They “failed to account for large amounts of cash flowing in and out of the businesses,” authorities said.
“The Cardinalles may have wanted to keep the business in the family, but that’s not how it works. Their continued flouting of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws cannot and will not be tolerated,” Porrino said in a statement. “Illegal activity was glorified at the ‘Bada Bing’ in the fictional world of Tony Soprano, but it has no place in modern-day New Jersey.”
Anthony Cardinalle had been “criminally disqualified” from running and operating the clubs, authorities said, but continued to do so.
He pleaded guilty in 1995 to tax evasion for not reporting cash payments from the strip clubs. He was indicted again in January 2013 and pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy with the Genovese crime family related to the waste-disposal industry, admitting to charges of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit extortion.
He was ordered to spend 30 days in jail and pay fines and restitution.
The club was also slapped with charges of criminal solicitation for prostitution and lewd activity in May 2017, which remain pending, officials said.
Cardinalle was part of a June 2016 federal class-action lawsuit because a former dancer at Satin Dolls said her pay was reduced to below the state’s minimum wage, according to NorthJersey.com
A 2011 consent order called for Cardinalle’s wife, Luceen, who was listed as the sole shareholder, to turn over licenses to daughter Loren. The Cardinalles were also ordered to pay $1.25 million in penalties as part of a deal hammered out with officials who agreed not to yank the licenses.
Loren Cardinalle had to transfer licenses to another party by December 31, 2015 as part of the terms. She asked for extensions as the deadline approached, which were granted, the last coming in September.
“The holding of licenses to sell and serve alcohol is contingent upon the owners’ behaving in a reputable manner,” Director David Rible said. “The Cardinalles, quite simply, have not played by the rules despite many opportunities to correct their behavior, and it’s time to get them out of the alcohol business once and for all.”
Screenshot image taken from “The Sopranos” show.