April 16, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a suspended senior engineer for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) was indicted today for submitting false academic credentials in order to obtain his state position and promotions.
The Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Roger Sequeira, 64, of Whiting, N.J., (Manchester Township, Ocean County, NJ) with second-degree official misconduct, second-degree theft by deception, third-degree theft by deception, and third-degree tampering with public records or information. The NJDOT Office of the Inspector General initially investigated this matter and referred it to the OPIA Corruption Bureau.
The indictment alleges that between Nov. 24, 2007 and June 16, 2020, Sequeira created and reinforced the false impression that he had obtained a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from La Salle University. Sequeira allegedly submitted to the state a fraudulent document that purported to be a university transcript. As a result of this deception, NJDOT allegedly sustained losses of over $75,000 in the form of additional compensation paid to Sequeira based on fraudulently obtained promotions.
The indictment further alleges that between Oct. 22, 2018 and March 20, 2020, Sequeira stole more than $500 by fraudulently taking leave time he claimed was for illness or visits to healthcare providers and submitting false documents purporting to be from healthcare providers to support that leave time.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Jonathan Gilmore and Adam Gerken of the OPIA Corruption Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione.
Attorney General Grewal thanked the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General for their investigation and referral.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The second-degree charge of official misconduct carries a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison without possibility of parole. Third-degree charges 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 defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Defense Attorney: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Aletha Sheppard Robinson, Mercer County.
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