State Grand Jury Returns 21-Count Indictment Charging 10 Defendants with Racketeering and Other Offenses for Operating Brothel at Sayreville Strip Club

Statehouse
Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) today announced a state grand jury returned a 21-count superseding indictment against seven individuals and three corporate entities, following an investigation of, as alleged, a longstanding family-operated prostitution ring at Club XXXV in Sayreville, New Jersey.

The investigation into the strip club along Route 35 revealed that it doubled as a house of prostitution that generated millions of dollars in revenue for the defendants. The proceeds moved through numerous bank accounts controlled by the defendants, which were used to conceal the source of the funds.

“Our investigation determined that the operators of Club XXXV were using various illegal means to turn their club into a multimillion-dollar racket,” said Attorney General Platkin. “We allege that these defendants enriched themselves unlawfully, masked the illicit sources of their income, and generated a host of quality-of-life issues for the residents of their community.”

“Law enforcement will not look the other way when a business crosses one line after another, in pursuit of obscene and ill-gotten profits,” said Thomas Eicher, Executive Director of OPIA.

On November 13, 2023, the grand jury voted to file criminal charges against Anthony Acciardi Sr., Doreen Acciardi and Stephen Acciardi, all from Freehold Township, New Jersey, as well as Anthony Acciardi Jr., of Old Bridge, all of whom owned and/or managed Club XXXV.

Other alleged co-conspirators also charged in connection with the suspected criminal enterprise included club employee Jennifer Hecker, a dancer who allegedly solicited undercover detectives for commercial sex acts; Jeannine Nichols, a club manager who is the sister of Doreen Acciardi; and Jason Portes, Nichols’ husband, who was also a Club XXXV manager.

The three corporate entities charged are Acciboys, LLC, an entity owned by Anthony Acciardi Jr. and Stephen Acciardi that owned ATMs; 35 Club, LLC, d/b/a Club XXXV; and Alana, Inc.

The investigation showed certain defendants largely failed to report the proceeds of the unlawful prostitution operation as taxable income, and allegedly established corporate entities to camouflage the true sources of the money. The investigation also determined that the alleged co-conspirators took steps to make the funds appear as if they had been derived from lawful business dealings.

It is alleged the club also illegally sold alcohol on premises, despite state regulations prohibiting that practice. The business is BYOB, but allegedly sold various types of liquor that were hidden in a rear shed on the property.

Some of the defendants were arrested on May 12, 2021, when the Sayreville Police, along with the Middlesex County Guns, Gangs and Drugs Task Force, working with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, executed search warrants at Club XXXV following numerous complaints of prostitution occurring there between 2019 and 2021. The case was subsequently superseded by the OPIA Corruption Bureau. Evidence seized from the search of the club included hundreds of condoms, lubricant and sex toys.

Computer hard drives discovered inside the strip club were also seized and subsequently searched. They contained hundreds of hours of video surveillance footage from security cameras throughout the establishment, including footage from a camera in the VIP section of the club. That footage showed various dancers performing sexual acts on patrons in the VIP rooms.

The search of the club also turned up a large bag containing approximately 700 condoms. Condoms were also stocked in a vending machine in the club’s locker room for dancers to purchase. The investigation found that customers 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 during the time in the VIP rooms.

Bank records indicate that since 2015, the defendants maintained both personal and business accounts associated with their several businesses, including Club 35, LLC, and Acciboys, LLC. Since 2017, more than $10 million had been deposited and withdrawn from these accounts.

As alleged, certain defendants significantly under-reported their income on state tax returns in an effort to evade taxes and to hide the proceeds of their criminal activity. After executing judicially authorized search warrants, police recovered approximately $140,000 in cash, $283,000 in gold, and $297,000 in silver from the home of Doreen Acciardi and Anthony Acciardi Sr. There was also $117,000 in cash, $61,000 in silver, and $47,000 in gold found in the residence of Anthony Acciardi Jr.

The defendants are charged with the following offenses:

 

Anthony Acciardi Sr., 59, of Freehold Township

 

·    Racketeering – 1st Degree

·    Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity – 1st Degree (3 counts)

·    Promoting Organized Street Crime – 2nd Degree

·    Promoting Prostitution – 3rd Degree

·    Misconduct by a Corporate Official – 2nd Degree

·    Filing Fraudulent Tax Return – 3rd Degree

·    Failure to Pay Income Taxes – 3rd Degree

·    Failure to File Tax Returns – 3rd Degree

·    Maintaining a Nuisance – 4th Degree

·    Maintaining a Sexually Oriented Business – 4th Degree

·    Falsifying Records – 4th Degree

 

Doreen Livingston, aka Doreen Acciardi, 56, of Freehold Township

 

·    Racketeering – 1st Degree

·    Conspiracy – 2nd Degree

·    Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity – 1st Degree (3 counts)

·    Promoting Organized Street Crime – 2nd Degree

·    Promoting Prostitution – 3rd Degree

·    Maintaining a Sexually Oriented Business – 4th Degree

·    Misconduct by a Corporate Official – 2nd Degree

·    Filing Fraudulent Tax Return – 3rd Degree

·    Failure to Pay Income Taxes – 3rd Degree

·    Failure to File Tax Returns – 3rd Degree

·    Failure to Pay Business Income Taxes – 3rd Degree

·    Maintaining a Nuisance – 4th Degree

·    Falsifying Records – 4th Degree

·    Filing Fraudulent Business Tax Return – 3rd Degree

 

Anthony Acciardi Jr., 30, of Old Bridge

 

·    Racketeering – 1st Degree

·    Conspiracy – 2nd Degree

·    Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity – 1st Degree (3 counts)

·    Promoting Organized Street Crime – 2nd Degree

·    Promoting Prostitution – 3rd Degree

·    Maintaining a Nuisance – 4th Degree

·    Maintaining a Sexually Oriented Business – 4th Degree

·    Misconduct by a Corporate Official – 2nd Degree

 

Stephen Acciardi, 26, of Freehold

 

·    Racketeering – 1st Degree

·    Conspiracy – 2nd Degree

·    Maintaining a Sexually Oriented Business – 4th Degree

·    Promoting Organized Street Crime – 2nd Degree

·    Maintaining a Nuisance – 4th Degree

·    Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity – 1st Degree (3 counts)

·    Filing Fraudulent Tax Return – 3rd Degree

·    Failure to Pay Income Taxes – 3rd Degree

·    Failure to File Tax Returns – 3rd Degree

·    Failure to Pay Business Income Taxes – 3rd Degree

·    Promoting Prostitution – 3rd Degree

·    Misconduct by a Corporate Official – 2nd Degree

·    Misconduct by a Corporate Official – 2nd Degree

·    Falsifying Records – 4th Degree

·    Filing Fraudulent Business Tax Return – 3rd Degree

 

Jason Portes, 41, of South Amboy

 

·    Racketeering – 1st Degree

·    Conspiracy – 2nd Degree

·    Promoting Prostitution – 3rd Degree

 

Jeanine Nichols, 59, of South Amboy

 

·    Racketeering – 1st Degree

·    Conspiracy – 2nd Degree

·    Promoting Prostitution – 3rd Degree

 

Jennifer Hecker, 45, of Parlin

 

·    Conspiracy – 2nd Degree

·    Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity – 2nd Degree

·    Theft by Deception – 3rd Degree

·    Filing Fraudulent Tax Return – 3rd Degree

·    Failure to Pay Income Taxes – 3rd Degree

 

Acciboys, LLC

 

·    Conspiracy – 2nd Degree

·    Racketeering – 1st Degree

·    Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity – 1st Degree (3 counts)

·    Promoting Prostitution – 3rd Degree

 

35 Club, LLC, d/b/a Club XXXV

 

·    Conspiracy – 2nd Degree

·    Racketeering – 1st Degree

·    Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity – 1st Degree (3 counts)

·    Promoting Prostitution – 3rd Degree

·    Filing Fraudulent Business Tax Return – 3rd Degree

 

Alana, Inc.

 

·    Conspiracy – 2nd Degree

·    Racketeering – 1st Degree

·    Promoting Prostitution – 3rd Degree

 

First-degree charges generally carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in New Jersey state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree offenses could lead to up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

 

The case is being prosecuted by OPIA Deputy Attorneys General Heather Hausleben, Diana Bibb, Brian Kenney and Special Deputy Attorney General Jason Boudwin, an Assistant Prosecutor with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. Special Deputy Attorney General Susan Carracino, an Assistant Prosecutor with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, is handling a collateral civil forfeiture matter related to assets seized in this case. The prosecution is being supervised by Corruption Bureau Chief Peter Lee, OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione and OPIA Director Eicher.

 

The investigation received critical assistance from the Sayreville Police Department, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Middlesex County Guns, Gangs and Drugs Task Force, and the New Jersey Treasury Department’s Criminal Investigations Office.

 

These charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

Defense attorneys

Anthony Acciardi Sr: Louis Barbone

Anthony Acciardi Jr.: Jonathan Petty

Jennifer Hecker: David Fassett

Doreen Livingston aka Acciardi: Brynn Giannullo

Stephen Acciardi: Amber Forrester

Jeanine Nichols: John Lynch

Jason Portes: Emery Toth

Alana Entity: Jeffrey Bronster

35 Club Entity: Brynn Giannullo

Acciboys Entity: Jeffrey Bronster

 

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