TRENTON – Assemblyman Robert Schroeder was indicted Friday after officials allege he stole more than $1.8 million from lenders and wrote more than $3.4 million in bad checks, officials said.
The state’s Office of the Attorney General announced a grand jury returned a three-count indictment against the Republican lawmaker. Schroeder, 52, is charged with issuing bad checks, misconduct by a corporate official and theft by deception, Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said.
"We allege that as the financial house of cards he built collapsed, Schroeder lied and stole in an attempt to prop it up, defrauding creditors of in excess of $5 million, between his theft of loan funds and passing of bad checks,” Chiesa said in a statement. “This indictment, which would carry a substantial prison sentence upon conviction, demonstrates that nobody is above the law.”
The charges are all second-degree offenses which carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, according to Chiesa.
Authorities allege Schroeder stole more than $1.8 million from individuals for loaned him money for a business venture in North Dakota and that he wrote more than $3.4 million in bad checks to other creditors who loaned him money or provided goods and services for his various companies, including All Points International Distributors, Inc., which sold tents and prefabricated buildings to the U.S. military, according to the Office of the Attorney General.
“By allegedly writing bad checks and defrauding lenders, Assemblyman Schroeder has betrayed the public trust,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the State Police. “This indictment, which is the product of a cooperative investigation by the State Police and Division of Criminal Justice, sends a clear message that the rules are the same for everyone.”
Schroeder was originally charged in August with passing bad checks.
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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