Veronica Allende became Director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice on May 11, 2018. She is the first Hispanic and third woman in the Division’s 50-year history to hold the title of Director. She returned to the Division as Director after a year and a half at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, where she served as an Assistant United States Attorney, investigating and prosecuting individuals for various federal crimes, including bank robbery, child exploitation, firearms offenses, airport crimes, wire and Social Security fraud, and narcotics distribution.
From 2007 to 2016, Allende served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Criminal Justice. She first worked in the Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, where she supervised the investigation of and successfully prosecuted numerous defendants involved in narcotics distribution, gun trafficking, money laundering, and violent crime. While a member of that bureau, she served for a time as an Acting Essex County Assistant Prosecutor, assigned to a trial team and the Multi-Jurisdictional Carjacking Task Force.
Allende later joined the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, where she successfully prosecuted defendants charged with official misconduct, theft by deception, and financial fraud. Most notably, Allende indicted former State Assemblyman Robert Schroeder, who ultimately pleaded guilty to misconduct by a corporate official and was sentenced to eight years in prison. She also handled the 14-week trial of a former Paterson School District official who was convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the district. Among other duties, Allende investigated officer-involved shootings as a member of the Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team. In 2015, Allende was promoted to Deputy Bureau Chief of the Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, overseeing the Computer Crimes Unit, which investigates and prosecutes child pornography, cyber predators, and other computer-related criminal activity.
Allende has taught for the National Association of Attorneys General and throughout New Jersey on a variety of trial-related subjects, as well as courses on cybercrime investigation and prosecution. She was a Legal Research & Writing Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law for five years, and at the Yeshiva University, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law for two years. Before her career in public service, Allende practiced land use and commercial real estate law with the law firm of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer. She received her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. Allende holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.