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Busted: NJ Restaurant Was a Cover for the Mob

The PortuCale Restaurant & Bar in Newark served Portuguese food — with a side of money laundering.

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A popular New Jersey restaurant has been a front for a $400 million dollar money laundering operation for at least four years, reports the NYPost. The PortuCale Restaurant & Bar served up more than lobster tails and shrimp in garlic sauce: It was a way for the Genovese organized crime family to hide millions of dollars in illegally cashed checks.

The PortuCale's underground check cashing shop allowed customers to bring in checks of any amount and have them cashed under the table, no currency transaction reports required. The restaurant kept up to three percent of each exchange. Acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman was able to confirm that the operation "generated more than $9 million in profits over four years."

Most interestingly, perhaps, is that the money laundering operation didn't stop the restaurant from churning out good food and service. The PortuCale restaurant has a solid four-star rating on Yelp.

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