TRENTON – A criminal complaint was filed today against a state Assemblyman charging him with writing nearly $400,000 in bad checks to people who invested large sums in his company, which sells tents and prefabricated buildings to the U.S. military, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced.
Robert Schroeder, 52, of Washington Township in Bergen County was charged by complaint-summons with second-degree passing bad checks as the result of an ongoing investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau. He was charged this morning at the Totowa-Sub Station of the New Jersey State Police and was expected to be released without bail after being processed.
The state today obtained a court order to seize seven bank accounts maintained and controlled by Schroeder in various business names, including the four accounts against which the bad checks alleged in the complaint were drawn. Those accounts are in the name of All Points International Distributors (two accounts), a subsidiary of All Points called Hercules Global Logistics, LLC, and RS Consultants, LLC, a property management firm Schroeder operates out of his home. Detectives executed search warrants today at Schroeder’s home and at a business facility in Hillsdale which serves as headquarters for All Points and Hercules Global Logistics.
The charge against Schroeder is a second-degree offense because the total of the alleged bad checks exceeds $75,000. The complaint filed today relates to a small number of investors and multiple checks written to each of those investors. However, the Attorney General’s Office is continuing to investigate allegations that Schroeder wrote bad checks to numerous other people who invested large sums in All Points. The state previously subpoenaed relevant bank records.
“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,” said Chiesa. “We’ve charged Assemblyman Schroeder with respect to a small number of investors, and we have an ongoing investigation into allegations that he wrote bad checks to numerous other individuals who invested in his company.”
“We urge any investors who have information or concerns related to Schroeder’s alleged passing of bad checks or conduct with respect to investor funds to contact us confidentially,” said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’ve seized bank accounts and other records in order to secure evidence and safeguard funds that may be owed to investors.”
Taylor noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has a toll-free tip line 1-866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to confidentially report financial crimes and other illegal activities. The public can also log on to the Division’s website at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing.
“By intentionally writing bad checks, Assemblyman Schroeder betrayed the trust placed upon him by his investors,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The cooperative investigation and arrest of Schroeder by the State Police and Division of Criminal Justice sends a clear message that everyone must abide by the same set of rules.”
Schroeder is the Deputy Republican Whip of the New Jersey General Assembly, serving the 39th Legislative District, which includes portions of Bergen and Passaic counties. He was elected to the General Assembly in 2010.
Schroeder is the owner and operator of All Points International Distributors, Inc. All Points is a private company that sells tents, tarpaulins, building components, prefabricated and portable buildings, and other prefabricated structures. Historically, the bulk of the company’s business has been with the federal government. The business is located at Prospect Place and Piermont Avenue in Hillsdale. Schroeder has also operated other limited liability companies from that location, including Hercules Global Logistics, LLC. Hercules, a subsidiary of All Points, supplies permanent and temporary housing units and offers catering services, logistical support, and other services required to design and maintain a base camp.
Under state law, second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000. The complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because the charge is an indictable offense, it will be presented to a state grand jury for potential indictment.