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Chippendales owner arrested in murder for hire plot

LOS ANGELES -- Federal prosecutors said the owner of Chippendales, the exotic male dance club, was arrested Thursday for allegedly conspiring to kill former business associates who started a competing operation.

U.S. Attorney Terree Bowers said Somen 'Steve' Banerjee, 46, of Playa del Rey, was indicted for conspiracy to violate the federal murder-for-hire statute.

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Banerjee also was indicted for five counts of causing others to travel in foreign commerce and to use facilities in foreign commerce to further the murder scheme.

Federal prosecutors said Banerjee was charged in the 1990 and 1991 plot to kill former associates Mike Fullington, Steve White and Read Scott, who were affiliated with a dance group called Adonis.

Banerjee is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 7.

If convicted on all counts, Banerjee faces 55 years in prison sentence and up to $1.5 million in fines.

Chippendale's is famous for its touring troupes of hunky male strippers, who catered to a predominately female crowd.

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