The owners of Club XXXV on Route 35 in Sayreville used “various illegal means to turn their club into a multimillion-dollar racket (that) doubled as a house of prostitution,” New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said a superseding indictment returned by a grand jury in Trenton alleges.
More than $10 million in proceeds from the business “moved through numerous bank accounts controlled by the defendants, which were used to conceal the source of the funds,” Platkin said on Friday, Nov. 17.
The principals named in the new 21-count criminal indictment are Anthony Acciardi Sr., 59, Doreen (Livingston) Acciardi, 56, and Stephen Acciardi, 26, all from Freehold, and Anthony Acciardi Jr., 30, of Old Bridge, all of whom the attorney general said owned and/or managed Club XXXV (aka Club 35).
Others charged were dancer Jennifer Hecker, who’s accused of soliciting undercover detectives, and two club managers: Jason Portes and his wife, Jeannine Nichols, who is Doreen Acciardi’s sister.
Some of the defendants were arrested during a May 2021 raid of the club by Sayreville Police, the Middlesex County Guns, Gangs and Drugs Task Force and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Seized that day, authorities said, included a bag stuffed with 700 condoms, as well as lubricant and sex toys, Platkin said.
But that wasn’t the most damning evidence.
Computer hard drives discovered at the gentlemen's club contained hundreds of hours of security video, the attorney general said, including one from a camera in the club’s VIP section that shows various dancers having sex with the customers.
Those interested “paid a fee to the business to enter the VIP area for private dances, then had the option of paying additional variable fees directly to dancers for sex,” Platkin explained.
Some of the defendants “largely failed to report the proceeds of the unlawful prostitution operation as taxable income,” he added.
They “established corporate entities to camouflage the true sources of the money,” the attorney general said.
Detectives armed with additional search warrants reportedly collected $140,000 in cash, $283,000 in gold, and $297,000 in silver from the home of Doreen and Anthony Acciardi Sr. They also seized $117,000 in cash, $61,000 in silver, and $47,000 in gold from Anthony Jr’s home.
Prosecutors reportedly offered plea deals that were rejected. Their attorneys instead accused authorities of manufacturing evidence. They also sued the borough of Sayreville, claiming that their constitutional rights were being violated through "personal malice, vendetta and other improper considerations."
A judge subsequently allowed the club to reopen under certain conditions while the criminal case against them continued.
Then came the superseding indictment returned earlier this week in Trenton.
It charges all of the Acciardis with racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering and promoting prostitution and organized street crime, as well as misconduct by a corporate official and “maintaining a sexually oriented business.”
They were also charged with various tax fraud counts.
Three corporate entities were also named: An ATM company, Acciboys, LLC, owned by Anthony Acciardi Jr. and Stephen Acciardi; 35 Club, LLC (doing business as Club XXXV) and Alana, Inc. Charges against those entities include conspiracy, racketeering and promoting prostitution.
The case is being prosecuted by OPIA Deputy Attorneys General Heather Hausleben, Diana Bibb and Brian Kenney, along with Special Deputy Attorney General Jason Boudwin, an assistant prosecutor with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Special Deputy Attorney General Susan Carracino, another assistant Middlesex prosecutor,, is handling a civil attempt to seize more than $3.5 million in assets, including two properties, 11 vehicles and $687,902 in gold and silver coins.
There’s also an effort to secure $651,398.26 from Hecker’s bank account.
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