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Ritacco Case: Ex-Insurance Broker Directed Consultant to Pay $9K Monthly To Retain Schools Contract

Carl Amenhauser enters guilty plea in monthly payment scheme from 2002 to 2007

The U.S. District Attorney today announced a guilty plea related to the Michael J. Ritacco case, where a man was ordered to make thousands of dollars in monthly payments to keep his contract with Toms River Regional.

The payments, totaling $9,000 a month, continued from October 2002 to June 2007, according to the U.S. District Attorney's Office.

Carl Amenhauser, 66, pleaded guilty March 27 to making false statements to the FBI when questioned about the payments, which occurred in 2002 after then-superintendent Michael J. Ritacco hired Amenhauser to provide workers compensation consulting services to Toms River Regional Schools.

has pleaded not guilty to charges of tax evasion, bribery and fraud and awaits trial April 9. The man U.S. District Attorney's said was Ritacco's co-conspirator, former Toms River Regional insurance broker Francis X. Gartland, today admitted in a scheme to shuffle more than $1 million in bribes between the superintendent and intermediaries.

According to the federal indictment released today, the district's former athletic director Frank D'Alonzo urged Ritacco to use Amenhauser to provide workers' compensation insurance to Toms River Regional in May 2002.

According to the indictment: the district insurance broker, Gartland, said Amenhauser would be paid $20,000 monthly under his district contract, but Amenhauser should then divvy up that money between Gartland and D'Alonzo.

Gartland would be paid $6,000, and D'Alonzo would be paid $3,000 each month, according to the indictment. Amenhauser would keep $5,000. The remaining $6,000 would go toward administering the employee assistance program expenses.

Amenhauser was the owner of Compass Health Management, Employee Assistance Resources and Compass Employee Assistance Resources — companies which had contracts with Toms River Regional Schools to provide workers' compensation insurance administration.

His staff biography at Compass lists Amenhauser as the chief executive officer, with more than 25 years experience in providing employee assistance and behavioral health-care services to both public and private workplaces.

Amenhauser's attorney, James A. Plaisted of Roseland, had no comment when reached by phone this evening. He declined to comment when asked about his client, or how Amenhauser's plea might impact the Ritacco or Gartland charges.

According to the plea, Amenhauser was pressured by Gartland to make these payments in order for Amenhauser to obtain and maintain his insurance service contract with the Toms River Regional School District.

"Amenhauser made these payments, believing that unless he made them he could not retain his contract with the Toms River school district," according to the indictment. He initially questioned them but was told by Gartland he would lose the contract, according to the indictment.

The $6,000 and $3,000 payments continued monthly from October 2002 to June 2007.

In February 2010, Amenhauser was questioned by the FBI about the payments and tried to conceal them, according to the indictment. Amenhauser allegedly told investigators the payments were unrelated to the district and were for Gartland in another venture entirely.

Amenhauser pleaded guilty to providing false statements. The charge is punishable by a maximum of five years and fines of $250,000.

Amenhauser awaits sentencing June 26.

teatleytea April 03, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Oh how smart you really are!!! Where should we start. The list would be shorter of you asked who didn't have any connections. Gus Kakavas..former employee of the district he was the head of transportation he has a wife and daughter and cousins who work in the district and his son-in-law is second in command in Toms River Department of Public Works and after he retired from Toms River he went to work for Lakewood schools. He is also up for reelection this November. Jack Reuter.. bother he and his wife are retired Toms River school teachers he is also on the Toms River Planning Board, he was also on the Toms River Recreation Committee and I think at one time he was on the Toms River Board of Adjustments. He is also up for reelection this November. Jamie Jubert... both she and her husband work for the County, her sister works for the school district and there could be more. Hey South Toms River she is also up for reelection. As you can see these there were on the BOE while this was going on. Gus and Jack will cry that they were only on the board for 3 years. Tom Baxter.... he has all kinds of family members working for the district his son his daughter and I m sure there are more than that employed. He has been on the BOE for 20 years and he is up for reelection November of 2013 hey Toms River remember that in 2013.
teatleytea April 03, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Mike Jedzenik from Pine Beach as far as we can tell he has no family that works for the district but, he has been there for a VERY long time and he is also up for reelection November 2013. Ed Gearity ...he is from Beachwood. His wife works for the district.; He is another one who is up for reelection in November 2013. They all used the mantra of "IT IS FOR THE CHILDREN" well, if we really want to do "IT FOR THE CHILDREN" we the voters will bounce those 6 out on their butts this year and next! Hey BOE members "REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!!! 2012 and 2013 that is!!!! (Sorry for some of my grammar mistakes in my previous post I was just so mad and was on roll and ran out of space so I hit send before I was able to proof read my post)
JD April 03, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Teatley... I call them the "BOE Rubber Stamping 6".... they are clueless as to what they approve.. they just approve everything and anything put in front of them... clearly a violation of fiduciary duties.
teatleytea April 03, 2012 at 02:09 PM
You are absolutely correct with that statement!! Just want to put this out here for anyone who is able to attend tomorrow night. There is an Insurance Committee Meeting of the whole tomorrow night at 5:00PM at 1144 Hooper Avenue. There is going to be a closed session for contract discussion then if there is any business that had taken place they will come out of executive session and open the meeting up to the public. I hope that everyone REMEMBERS IN NOVEMBER!!!!
I B buggin April 03, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Time for some incorruptible types to step up....If no one else runs..That will be a problem.

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