New Jersey State Assemblyman Robert Schroeder was charged Friday with writing almost $400,000 worth of bogus checks, according to a press release from the state attorney general's office.
Schroeder allegedly wrote the checks to people who invested in his Hillsdale-based company, All Points International Distributors. The company manufactures pre-fabricated structures. Most of the company's business has been with the federal government, according to the press release.
Schroeder said he wrote two checks totalling about $100,000 because he believed the U.S. Army had wired him money owed for a contract, according to a report on NorthJersey.com. Schroeder apologized and said the debt had been paid, according to the report.
Officials from the attorney general's office said they believed Schroeder had "intentionally" written bad checks. State officials seized seven bank accounts maintained by Schroeder under API and other businesses, including Hercules Global Logistics, LLC and RS Consultants, LLC.
“Deliberately writing checks when you know that you don’t have the funds to back them is a crime, and when it involves the kind of money alleged here, it’s a very serious crime,” Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said in the press release.
Chiesa said the investigation is still ongoing and other investors may have also been duped. Detectives searched Schroeder's Washington Township home and API headquarters in Hillsdale Friday morning.
Schroeder was charged with second-degree passing bad checks at a State Police Sub Station in Totowa. Officials said he was expected to be released without bail. Schroeder faces as much as 10 years in state prison and $150,000 in criminal fines, according to the attorney general's office.
Schroeder, 52, is a Republican who represents New Jersey's 39th District in the State Assembly. He began his first term in 2010 and started a second term in this year. He previously served on the Washington Township Council.
Schroeder did not immediately return calls for comment Friday.
Patch will have more information on this story as it becomes available.