Attorney General Jeff Chiesa announced charges against Assemblyman Robert Schroeder for allegedly writing bad checks at an afternoon Trenton news conference.
“This is a serious charge that, under New Jersey law, carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison upon conviction,” Chiesa explained. “Mr. Schroeder allegedly wrote the bad checks to people who invested large sums of money in his company — All Points International Distributors Incorporated. This company sells tents and prefabricated buildings primarily to the U.S. military.”
The 52-year-old Schroeder was elected to the Assembly from Washington Township, Bergen County, in 2009. Before that, he was a local councilman who ran for governor in 2005 finishing sixth in the Republican primary.
At the state police barracks in Totawa where he was processed and released without bail, he told reporters it was an unintentional mistake that has been cleared up and that he would fight the charges.
In addition to his home, state troopers searched his business today and seized seven business bank accounts.
The alleged bad checks totaling nearly $400,000 went to two investors, possibly more.
“The charge against Mr. Schroeder is a second-degree offense because the total of the alleged bad checks exceeds $75,000,” Chiesa said.
The Attorney General said the investigation is ongoing and could extend to more investor-victims. He said the bad checks covered a one-year period, and that the investigation began this March.
“While many people may inadvertently bounce a check at some point in their life, it is a much different thing, and as alleged here, it is done knowingly in a context when large investments are at stake. Deliberately writing bad checks when you know you don’t have the funds to back them is a crime.”
The charges against Schroeder will be presented to a grand jury for possible indictment. Until then he’s presumed innocent and can keep his Assembly seat.
Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron reports from Trenton.