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Ex-Strip Club Owner Sentenced

THE NATION

January 09, 2002|Associated Press

ATLANTA — Wrapping up a sensational racketeering case that featured strippers, mobsters and professional athletes, the former owner of a popular Atlanta strip club was sentenced Tuesday to 16 months in prison.

Steve Kaplan, 42, had been accused of using dancers to provide sexual favors to star athletes to raise the profile of his Gold Club. He was also accused of cheating credit-card customers and funneling profits to the Gambino crime family of New York.

Kaplan called the sentence "very fair."

"I'm very grateful," he said.

The trial of Kaplan and eight co-defendants became a celebrity spectacle, with athletes such as Orlando Magic basketball star Patrick Ewing and Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones testifying.

Kaplan halted the trial in August by agreeing to plead guilty to a racketeering charge.

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