LODI, N.J. — A New Jersey strip club that served as a favourite hangout for fictional mobsters in HBO’s “The Sopranos” has been ordered to shut down as authorities investigate possible real-life crimes.
Scenes at the show’s fictional Bada Bing club were shot inside Satin Dolls in Lodi. On Thursday, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced that Satin Dolls and another club owned by the same family must stop live entertainment this month and sell their liquor licenses by Jan. 3.
Investigators from the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control allege that former owner Anthony Cardinalle continued to run the clubs despite being barred from doing so and that the clubs failed to account for large amounts of cash moving in and out.
Earlier this year, they accused Satin Dolls of criminal solicitation of prostitution and lewd activity involving “audience participation.” Those charges are pending.
“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,” Porrino said in a news release. “It’s time to shut it down.”
A phone listing for Cardinalle rang unanswered Thursday.
Porrino said the clubs have been under investigation for more than six years as the Cardinalles tried to retain ownership despite an order to transfer the liquor licenses to a third party.
“The Cardinalles may have wanted to keep the business in the family, but that’s not how it works,” Porrino said. “Their continued flouting of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws cannot and will not be tolerated.”
Anthony Cardinalle pleaded guilty in 2013 in a racketeering conspiracy linked to the Genovese crime family. In 1995, he admitted to evading taxes by not reporting cash income from clubs.