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Former Toms River Schools Insurance Broker Faces More Than 11 Years In Jail

Francis X. Gartland admitted to mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS, and perjury.

Francis X. Gartland, the former insurance broker for the Toms River Regional School District, was sentenced Friday to 135 months in prison for his role in a scheme to pay bribes and other benefits to then-superintendent Michael J. Ritacco, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. 

Gartland, 71, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to charges of mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and perjury. Pisano imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

Gartland has admitted that while he served as the insurance broker for Toms River Regional Schools, he funneled bribes through a series of intermediaries.

The payments were in excess of $1 million total from 2002-2010, announced the U.S. Attorney's office.

Gartland, 71, pleaded guilty last spring before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to charges of mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS, and perjury.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Gartland's plea. He said Gartland, while insurance broker for the Toms River Regional School District, admitted his role in a scheme to pay bribes and other benefits to the then-superintendent of schools to get and maintain a contract to provide insurance services for the district.

In the court documents and statements, Gartland admitted to his role with co-conspirators who paid $1 million to $2 million in bribes to Ritacco in exchange for inflated insurance contracts from 2002 to 2010, according to Fishman.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office:

• Gartland admitted that in 2002, he, Ritacco, Cotroneo, and D’Alonzo agreed to have Ritacco approve a workers’ compensation insurance contract. That contract, between Gartland and the school district, had contract fees that would yield $500,000 to $600,000 per year in excess fees, which would be used to pay bribes and kickbacks to Ritacco.

• Gartland admitted his role in conspiring with Ritacco to defraud the IRS by hiding these bribes and other benefits that were paid to Ritacco, and to other individuals at Ritacco’s direction.

• Gartland admitted he and Ritacco, 65, used a series of shell companies and intermediaries to conceal the payments.

• Gartland admitted to filing fraudulent individual tax returns for tax years 2004 through 2007.

TRWatch November 16, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Speaking of Ritacco, does anyone know how the house Ritacco built with stolen taxpayers money fared in Seaside Park?
Hate Incompetence November 16, 2012 at 07:14 PM
That's one down...Maybe a couple hundred more crooks in Toms River?
ray November 16, 2012 at 08:02 PM
At least some of the thieves in Toms River government are finally going to jail. Too bad that 99% of them are still out there stuffing their pockets.
Mr. ? November 16, 2012 at 08:10 PM
So Gartland will be making license plates with Ritacco for all those Mercedes. Too good for them! Should be out on an old fashion chain gang breaking rocks with a sledge hammer.
bayway mike November 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM
License plates are made in state prisons..These 2 jokers will be in a federal prison, you know, the one that houses Bernie Madoff, Michael Milken and those other white-collared criminals..
Sandra November 17, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Garland's face looks pretty grim. It will perk up when he meets his "cell mate"...Bubba.
Alan K November 17, 2012 at 10:42 AM
After all of the bad news about the storm, it's so refreshing to read everyday news about crooks in TR!

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