Richie Roberts, former Essex County assistant prosecutor, who has helped the law several times including the conviction of Frank Lucas who was famous as Harlem heroin kingpin for drug-trafficking crimes, is under trail. Last Tuesday, he was in front of the federal judge for the tax charges.
Richie Roberts has pleaded guilty and is backed by the Assistant Federal Public Defender Lisa Mack. The case was brought before the U.S. District Judge, Esther Salas in Newark. The charges include the failure of collection and payment of payroll taxes from his Newark law firm. He has also been charged for ignoring the payment of his personal income taxes.
His words were, “I’ve let down myself, most importantly my family, and my friends. I love the law, and I have spent my life upholding the law. To violate the law and my principles is an obscenity.
Richie Roberts was the one to obtain an indictment against Lucas for his links in a Newark drug ring. Lucas was sentenced for 70 years of prison which was reduced to only six years after he became government informant. This was the report in the Star-Ledger.
A movie named “American Gangster” was also released on his story which starred Russell Crowe as Roberts and Denzel Washington as Lucas. It is reported that both men were paid undisclosed amounts to buy the rights to their story.
The law license of Richie Roberts has been suspended as he failed to pay the taxes from year 2009 to 2011 and his personal tax has been pending since 2000. The investigation was carried upon by Internal Revenue Service’s criminal division and investigators who were from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The charges against him could lead him to five years of imprisonment for failing to pay the payroll taxes. Additional one year for failing to pay the personal taxes.
The fine that would be levied on him can go upto $350,000, or twice the government’s loss or his gain for each count.
There won’t be any further charges as per the terms of his plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for other tax crimes. This was the statement of Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Kogan in the court.