A New Jersey strip club that was used in 'The Sopranos' has been ordered to close as the owners faced a series of criminal proceedings.
In a scene that could have come from the hit TV series, the liquor licenses of A. J. Gentleman's Club and Satin Dolls, which hosted the fictional 'Bada Bing' club in the series, have to be sold or transferred by 3 January, New Jersey's attorney general ordered.
It follows claims of noncompliance with a previous consent order. Live entertainment on the premises has to end by 17 December.
The clubs and their owners have had to face investigations and lawsuits for over six years, authorities said.
It is alleged that the clubs have been under the continuous control of Anthony Cardinalle even though he was criminally disqualified from being involved in their operations. Large amounts of cash were also allegedly flowing through the business without being accounted for.
"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," said state attorney General Porrino.
"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. It's time to shut it down."
"The holding of licences to sell and serve alcohol is contingent upon the owners' behaving in a reputable manner," Director David P. Rible said.
"The Cardinalles, quite simply, have not played by the rules despite many opportunities to correct their behaviour, and it's time to get them out of the alcohol business once and for all."
The Cardinalles pleaded guilty to federal income tax evasion related running gentleman's clubs in 1995. In 2013, he similar pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit extortion. Earlier in 2013, Cardinalles faced charges related to a conspiracy involving the waste-disposal industry in New York and New Jersey.
Charges of criminal solicitation for prostitution and lewd activity on the licenced premises from May 2017 are still pending.