Edison Lawyer Admits Role In Extortion Scheme

TRENTON – A Middlesex County lawyer and certified public accountant admitted Monday that he conspired with a New Jersey mortgage broker to extort and defraud victims by falsely representing to them that they were the subjects of criminal investigations, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Thomas G. Frey, 53, of Edison, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to two counts of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit extortion under fear of economic harm and to commit wire fraud.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Frey, Robert G. Cusic Jr., a Millstone mortgage broker, and another conspirator (named “CC-1” in the Indictment) schemed to defraud four victims, including two police officers, by falsely representing to them that they were the subjects of criminal investigations, principally by the IRS, in connection with investment properties that some of them owned. Frey and Cusic falsely represented that while Cusic was at a property formerly owned by one of the victims, Cusic encountered two IRS special agents (SA-1 and SA-2) who questioned him extensively about some of the victims.

Frey falsely told the victims he had ongoing communications with SA-1 about the purported investigation and had a special relationship with SA-1. Frey told the victims if they paid up to $20,000 each, he would call SA-1 and have the investigation converted from a criminal tax investigation to an IRS “desk audit,” a civil matter. Frey and CC-1 falsely stated that if the victims did not retain his services and pay the fee, the investigation would likely result in the arrest of certain of the victims.

The extortion and wire fraud conspiracy charges to which Frey pleaded guilty are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 5, 2013.

Cusic pleaded guilty Nov. 28, 2011, to conspiring with Frey to extort the victims. He is awaiting sentencing.

Fishman credited special agents of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Geary, Washington Field Division, for the investigation leading to the guilty plea.

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