Assemblyman Robert Schroeder, a Republican, was released on his own recognizance after being charged at a state police barracks, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported. He faces as much as 10 years in prison if convicted.
"While many people may inadvertently bounce a check at some point in their life, it is a much different thing when, as alleged here, it is done knowingly, in the context when large investments are at stake," state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, also a Republican, said in announcing the charges. "Deliberately writing bad checks when you know 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."
Schroeder owns All Points International Distributors LLC, which supplies tents and shelters to the military. He was elected to the Assembly in 2009, representing a suburban district in northern Bergen County.
He has been a major donor to Republican candidates, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the Ledger said.
The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has cut Schroeder's company's revenues, the report said.
He is embroiled in a number of lawsuits with creditors and owes money to the Internal Revenue Service, the newspaper said.