ASSOCIATED PRESS— A former New Jersey prosecutor portrayed by Russell Crowe in the film “American Gangster” has pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes.
Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick said Tuesday that 79-year-old Richie Roberts pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to charges he failed to pay failed taxes going back to at least 2000.
Roberts told NJ.com after the proceedings he was “totally embarrassed.”
“I’ve let down myself, most importantly my family, and my friends,” Roberts said. “I love the law, and I have spent my life upholding the law. To violate the law and my principles is an obscenity.”
As a prosecutor in the 1970s, Roberts obtained an indictment against Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas. The case was portrayed in the 2007 film “American Gangster. Crowe played Roberts, and Denzel Washington portrayed Lucas.
After he was sentenced to 70 years in prison, Lucas agreed to become a government informant and served just six years, The Star-Ledger reported.
Prosecutors say Richie Roberts faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and fines up to $350,000 when he is sentenced on August 1st.
As a result of the guilty plea, the U.S. Attorney agreed not to pursue any additional charges for other tax crimes.