A Mahwah man has been indicted by the Essex County Grand Jury after allegedly stealing over $600,000 from clients of his East Orange Law Office, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced in a release Tuesday.
According to Murray, Raymond Roche, 54, a Mahwah resident, was served with a three-count indictment after allegedly stealing settlement checks from his personal injury clients.
Roche faces 20 years in prison if he is convicted of second-degree theft, misapplication of entrusted funds, and first-degree financial facilitation of criminal activity charges, the release said.
Roche, a lawyer with a practice in East Orange, allegedly “accumulated unpaid medical liens on personal injury cases,” Murray said in the release. “He received settlement checks from the insured but failed to pay off the medical liens.”
Roche is accused of depositing the checks into his attorney’s trust fund, and writing checks from the trust account to his law firm, Roche and Associates, in 2006 and 2007, Murray said.
Prosecutor’s Office Spokeswoman Katherine Carter said the charges against Roche are stemming mostly from incidents in 2006 and 2007, “but we are continuing to investigate,” Roche’s financial interactions before and after that.”
Carter said she was unsure how many clients were potentially affected by the alleged scam.
Any of Roche’s clients who suspect they may have been victims are asked to contact Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Detective James Ventola at 973-266-7223.