LODI, N.J. – State authorities have ordered the owners of the Lodi gentleman’s club that served as the fictional “Bada Bing” on “The Sopranos” and another club in Secaucus to sell the establishments or transfer their licenses in less than a month – and end live entertainment by Dec. 17.
Anthony Cardinalle continued to operate Satin Dolls on Route 17 and A.J.’s Gentleman’s Club on Secaucus Road despite federal convictions for income tax evasion and conspiring with members of Genovese crime family in waste-disposal crimes in New Jersey and New York, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said.
He and family co-owners of the clubs also “failed to account for large amounts of cash flowing in and out of the businesses,” the attorney general said.
Under an order signed by Alcoholic Beverage Control Director David P. Rible on Nov. 20, the Cardinalle family’s involvement with the clubs must end.
“Illegal activity was glorified at the ‘Bada Bing’ in the fictional world of Tony Soprano,” Porrino said, “but it has no place in modern-day New Jersey.
“The Cardinalles may have wanted to keep the business in the family, but that’s not how it works,” he added. “It’s time to shut it down.”
In 2011, a Consent Order with the companies Route 17 Entertainment Inc. (Satin Dolls) and Sea-Card Enterprises Inc. (A.J’s Gentleman’s Club) mandated that Cardinalle’s wife, Lucceen -- who was listed as the sole shareholder of both corporations -- turn over the licenses to her daughter, Loren Cardinalle.
The Cardinalles were ordered to pay $1.25 million in penalties as a compromise in lieu of revocation of both licenses, and Loren Cardinalle was ordered to transfer both licenses to a bona fide third party by Dec. 31, 2015.
As the 2015 Consent Order deadline approached, Loren Cardinalle asked the Division for permission to continue to hold the licenses.
A series of extensions were granted, the last with a Sept. 28 deadline.
“After further investigation, the Division issued a Notice of Charges for criminal solicitation for prostitution and lewd activity on the licensed premises in May,” Porrino said. “Those charges remain pending.”
Anthony Cardinalle is still involved with the operation of the clubs, the attorney general said, citing as evidence:
• “The Lodi Police Department advised the Division that Anthony Cardinalle has been the contact person for issues with the Satin Dolls license”;
• “When police were called to the club because of a report of an attempted burglary, Anthony Cardinalle was the club representative dealing with the matter.”
Live entertainment stops at both clubs by Dec. 17, under the state order, Porrino said.
“If live entertainment is provided after that date,” he said, “the licenses will be suspended immediately and the owners will be subject to potential disciplinary charges.”
“The holding of licenses to sell and serve alcohol is contingent upon the owners’ behaving in a reputable manner,” said Rible, the state ABC director. “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.”
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