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'American Gangster' prosecutor pleads guilty to tax charges

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/12/2017
Attorney Richie Roberts leaves the MLK Federal Courthouse in Newark after pleading guilt to tax crimes charges. Tuesday April 11, 2017. Newark, NJ, USA (Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media via AP) © The Associated Press Attorney Richie Roberts leaves the MLK Federal Courthouse in Newark after pleading guilt to tax crimes charges. Tuesday April 11, 2017. Newark, NJ, USA (Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media via AP)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey prosecutor portrayed by Russell Crowe in the film "American Gangster" has pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes.

Attorney Richie Roberts leaves the MLK Federal Courthouse in Newark after pleading guilt to tax crimes charges, Tuesday April 11, 2017. Newark, NJ, USA (Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media via AP) © The Associated Press Attorney Richie Roberts leaves the MLK Federal Courthouse in Newark after pleading guilt to tax crimes charges, Tuesday April 11, 2017. Newark, NJ, USA (Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media via AP)

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 taxes going back to at least 2000.

Attorney Richie Roberts leaves the MLK Federal Courthouse in Newark after pleading guilt to tax crimes charges. Tuesday April 11, 2017. Newark, NJ, USA (Aristide Economopoulos /NJ Advance Media via AP) © The Associated Press Attorney Richie Roberts leaves the MLK Federal Courthouse in Newark after pleading guilt to tax crimes charges. Tuesday April 11, 2017. Newark, NJ, USA (Aristide Economopoulos /NJ Advance Media via AP)

Roberts told NJ.com (http://bit.ly/2o1NbFz ) after the proceedings he was "totally embarrassed."

Attorney Richie Roberts leaves the MLK Federal Courthouse in Newark after pleading guilt to tax crimes charges, Tuesday April 11, 2017. Newark, NJ, USA (Aristide Economopoulos /NJ Advance Media via AP) © The Associated Press Attorney Richie Roberts leaves the MLK Federal Courthouse in Newark after pleading guilt to tax crimes charges, Tuesday April 11, 2017. Newark, NJ, USA (Aristide Economopoulos /NJ Advance Media via AP)

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.

FILE- In this Oct. 19, 2007, file photo, the real-life subject of the film, Richie Roberts attends the world premiere of "American Gangster" at the Apollo Theater in New York. Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick said Tuesday, April 11, 2017, that Roberts pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to charges he failed to pay taxes going back to at least 2000. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File) © The Associated Press FILE- In this Oct. 19, 2007, file photo, the real-life subject of the film, Richie Roberts attends the world premiere of "American Gangster" at the Apollo Theater in New York. Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick said Tuesday, April 11, 2017, that Roberts pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to charges he failed to pay taxes going back to at least 2000. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

Prosecutors say Roberts faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and fines up to $350,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 1.

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