Disbarred Parsippany Attorney Charged with Alleged Unlawful Practice of Law

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Hopatcong Borough Police Chief Robert Brennan, and Roxbury Township Police Chief James Simonetti announce that John J. Montefusco, Sr., 72 years old of Parsippany, New Jersey, has been charged today with the Unlawful Practice of Law, a crime of the third degree.

On a number of occasions between December, 2012 and April, 2013, Montefusco allegedly met with an individual and discussed providing legal representation in a pending criminal court matter. During that time period, Montefusco allegedly accepted money from the individual as a retainer to provide legal services. Montefusco previously tendered his consent to disbarment as an Attorney at Law of the State of New Jersey, effective June 5, 2009, and, as such, is prohibited from practicing law in the State of New Jersey.

The charges, which were served on the defendant by detectives from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, were the result of a lengthy criminal investigation conducted by the Hopatcong Police Department, the Roxbury Police Department, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. Montefusco was charged on April 26, 2013 in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey by detectives from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

Montefusco was issued a summons and released. He has been given a court date of May 1, 2013.

The defendant has previously pled guilty on February 13, 2008 to Mail Fraud in Federal Court for actions he had taken as the Parsippany-Troy Hills Planning Board Attorney. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he admitted “that he gave his official assistance to a developer in return for benefits to him and his family that included discounted purchase prices on houses that allowed the family members to quickly resell the properties at substantial profit.”

He is scheduled to be sentenced in Federal Court on this plea on June 27, 2013.

Acting Prosecutor Fredric Knapp thanks the Hopatcong Police Department, the Roxbury Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Internal Affairs Unit whose efforts contributed to this result.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].