TRENTON –Two suspended lawyers who formerly operated a Newark law firm as partners were indicted on May 17 on charges that they stole more than $140,000 from clients, Attorney General said in a press release.
Richard M. Roberts, 79, of Bloomfield, N.J., and Gerald M. Saluti Jr., 49, of Howell, N.J., were charged with conspiracy (2nd degree), theft by failure make required disposition of property received (2nd degree), hindering apprehension or prosecution (3rd degree), and perjury (3rd degree).
From October 2012 through August 2013, Roberts and Saluti allegedly conspired to steal over $140,000 from four clients of their firm whose funds had been placed in the firm’s attorney trust account. Roberts and Saluti allegedly used funds to pay their personal expenses, including car payments, credit card bills and entertainment expenses. Roberts allegedly used $20,000 in stolen funds to make alimony payments.
Additional charges may be filed.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.