A central New Jersey lawyer tried to extort thousands of dollars from four people by falsely telling them that they were the subjects of criminal investigations.

Peter Dazeley, Getty Images

Federal prosecutors say Thomas Frey of Edison pleaded guilty Monday to a complaint charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and extortion under fear of economic harm. The 53-year-old Frey faces up to 40 years in prison when he's sentenced Sept. 5.

Federal prosecutors say Frey and a co-conspirator falsely told the four victims -- including two police officers -- they were subjects of criminal investigations, principally by the IRS, and demanded up to $20,000 from each to assist them in avoiding arrests and obtaining favorable outcomes.


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