New Jersey

'American Gangster' prosecutor pleads guilty to tax charges

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.

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.  (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

 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 taxes going back to at least 2000.

Roberts told NJ.com after the proceedings he was "totally embarrassed."

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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.

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