Robert Schroeder, a former Bergen County assemblyman who represented the 39th District for two terms between 2010 and 2014, pleaded guilty to stealing $1.9 million from people who loaned him money for a business venture, as well as writing $3.4 million in bad checks to creditors.
Schroeder, a former Republican whip from Washington Township in Bergen County, was accused of trading on his public stature in the Assembly by members of the state attorney general’s office in order to gain the trust of business associates. “Schroeder lied to lenders, misappropriated funds entrusted to him, and willfully passed dozens of bad checks, all of which cost his creditors over $5 million,” said Attorney General Christopher Porrino, in a written statement.
Schroeder pleaded guilty to charges that he stole about $1.9 million from at least five individuals who lent him money for a supposed oil drilling business venture in North Dakota. Instead, Schroeder used the money for personal expenses and other debts. In order to cover himself, he wrote $3.4 million in bad checks to 12 individuals who lent him funds for business ventures, and another two companies.
Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Schroeder be sentenced to eight years in prison. He is required to pay full restitution of $5,318,150 to his victims, and he will be permanently barred from public office and public employment in New Jersey.