A mob associate who ran the Bada Bing — the Lodi, New Jersey strip club that served as headquarters for fictional TV mobster Tony Soprano — is headed to the jailhouse. But it’s just for a short stretch, one he could almost do standing on his head, or one of the other gymnastic stances practiced by his bare-chested dancers in the jiggle joint on Route 17.
Anthony (Tony Lodi) Cardinalle will serve a 30 day prison term for spilling his guts about a real Garden State mob crew that was run for years by powerhouse Genovese capo Tino Fiumara.
The light sentence is Cardinalle’s punishment for having introduced the undercover operative in the FBI’s three year investigation of the waste hauling industry in New York and New Jersey to a key soldier in Fiumara’s “Lodi crew.” Cardinalle, is slated to begin his short stretch behind bars at an undisclosed federal prison next week.
Manhattan Federal Judge P. Kevin Castel imposed sentence after the feds lauded Cardinalle’s cooperation, and his lawyer submitted 40 letters of praise about the “gentleman’s club” guru. The letters flowed in from family,friends, employees, law enforcement officials, as well as the Mayor of Lodiand Johnny Pacheco, the legendary musician/bandleader dubbed the father of Salsa Music.
Castel also fined the 63-year-old Cardinalle $10,000 and ordered restitution of the $3400 that he extorted from Charles Hughes, the FBI informer in the case. Cardinalle is the last of 19 convicted mobsters and associates who have been sentenced in the case. The charges against ten others were all dropped.
Like virtually every letter writer, Pacheco cited two important reasons why Cardinalle deserved a break: His friend is a loving family man, the music man said, one who is the primary support of a 32-year-old daughter afflicted with cerebral palsy, Tonielle. He is also a charitable, all-around good guy whenever friends, relatives, workers, business associates and even total strangers find themselves in need of a loan, a job, a place to stay, or a shoulder to lean on, Pacheco added.