GEOFF MULVIHILL,Associated Press
KATIE ZEZIMA,Associated Press
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey state assemblyman who once ran for governor was arrested Friday and charged with writing nearly $400,000 in bad checks to investors from the accounts of his business, which sells tents and huts to the U.S. military.
The state Attorney General's Office said Robert Schroeder, a Republican from Washington Township in Bergen County, turned himself in to state police Friday morning at the Totowa substation.
Authorities said he was expected to be released on his own recognizance. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Detectives searched Schroeder's home and at the headquarters for two of his Hillsdale-based companies: All Points International Distributors, Inc., and Hercules Global Logistics.
"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 a statement.
Public records show that Schroeder, 52, had financial difficulties for years and had been sued for debts.
He was charged with a single count of writing bad checks. It's punishable by up to 10 years in prison if he's convicted. He also faces a fine up to $150,000.
Chiesa said the investigation is continuing and urged other alleged victims to contact authorities. Chiesa scheduled a news conference on the case for 2 p.m.
Schroeder, a former volunteer fire chief who sought the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2005, was first elected to the Assembly in 2009.
He has not been one of the more vocal members of the Legislature in his relatively short time there, though he does serve as the deputy Republican whip.
Zezima reported from Newark.
Follow Mulvihill at http://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihill
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.