Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.

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Politician accused of writing $400,000 in bad checks

A 52-year-old New Jersey assemblyman has been accused of presenting bad checks in the amount of $400,000 to two investors who he asked to support his business, which he represented as engaged in military contracting. Second degree felony charges are currently pending in court as a result of the alleged bad checks, with the defendant being given an opportunity to present his criminal defense.

The defendant argues that the two bad checks he wrote were to business suppliers, that they totaled only $100,000, and that he has made those obligations good. He also asserted that writing the checks constituted an innocent mistake, because it was predicated on the reasonable assumption that the Army was wiring into the applicable account funds that it owed him under an existing contract. Only the failure of those funds to arrive, he maintains, caused any checks to bounce.

The charges were filed by the state's Attorney General's office, which asserts that the bad checks were actually written to two people with substantial investments in the defendant's business. If convicted of the charges, the defendant could be sentenced to a term of incarceration as long as 10 years, as well as being subjected to up to $150,000 in fines. After the charges were filed, a search of the defendant's residence was carried out pursuant to a warrant. Reportedly, the businessman is also being targeted by a minimum of five civil lawsuits seeking payment of what are claimed to be loans totaling millions of dollars.

The defendant was formerly a member of the Washington Township council and was recently sued this summer by the council's vice president for alleged wrongful refusal to repay $330,000 owed on previous loans from the fellow politician.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Assemblyman Robert Schroeder hears criminal charges in Hillsdale court," Oct. 10, 2012.

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