'Mafia' strip club owner faces prison

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The owner of a strip club in Atlanta who cheated customers and paid dancers to have sex with celebrities pleaded guilty yesterday to racketeering.

Steve Kaplan will face a jail sentence of between three and five years, and have to pay a fine of $5m (£2.2m).

He will also have to give up the Gold Club in Atlanta, Georgia, making the federal government the owner of one of the most profitable US strip clubs, and allegedly a source of cash to a leading Mafia family.

The court was told that Kaplan had paid strippers to have sex with the soccer star Terrell Davis, NBA star Patrick Ewing, and Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones.

Kaplan, estimated to be worth $50m, and six others, were charged with obstruction, credit-card fraud, loan sharking, prostitution and other charges. Kaplan will be sentenced later this month.