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Ritacco, Others Ordered To Pay Millions Back To Toms River Schools

Ritacco, the former Toms River superintendent, and Francis X. Gartland, the district's former insurance broker, have been ordered to pay $4,336,987.91

Several former officials have been ordered to pay back millions to Toms River schools for their involvement in a bribes scandal that brought down the district's superintendent.

Michael J. Ritacco, the former superintendent for the Toms River Regional School District, and Francis X. Gartland, the district's former insurance broker, have been ordered to pay $4,336,987.91 in restitution to the school district, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Thursday.

Frank D’Alonzo, the former supervisor of Athletics and Special Projects for the School District, was ordered to pay $1,625,952.79 in restitution.

Ritacco, 64, of Seaside Heights, Gartland, 71, of Baltimore, and D’Alonzo, 55, of Lavallette, all previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to charges relating to a bribery and kickback scheme involving themselves and other conspirators, including Frank Cotroneo.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The bribery and kickback scheme spanned 2002 to 2010, during which time Ritacco accepted $1 million to $2 million in bribes and other benefits from the conspirators in return for Ritacco’s official action and influence. This was done so Gartland could obtain and maintain insurance contracts at the school district.

Ritacco and Gartland were each sentenced to 135 months in prison and D’Alonzo was sentenced to 37 months in prison.

As part of their plea agreements, Ritacco, Gartland, and D’Alonzo agreed to make restitution. Following a hearing on Dec. 12, Pisano issued an opinion in which the Court concluded that the school district was “unquestionably” the victim of the defendants' bribery and kickback scheme and determined the loss from the fraud scheme was $4,336,987.91.

The loss consisted of excess money the district paid to Gartland and his entities,
which were then passed to Ritacco as bribes, derived from the district’s health insurance coverage and worker’s compensation program.

Ritacco and Gartland were ordered to pay the full amount of the school district’s loss, jointly and severally, while D’Alonzo was ordered to pay a portion of the loss consistent with the years in which he was involved actively in the criminal
scheme.

In addition to ordering restitution, the court also ordered that Gartland forfeit to the United States a sum of $11 million, which represented all proceeds derived from the fraudulent scheme. D’Alonzo also was ordered to forfeit a sum of $4.3 million, which represented the proceeds derived from the scheme while he was an active participant.

Prior to his sentencing on Sept. 14, Ritacco forfeited to the United States $1 million, a 2010 Mercedes Benz, and $8,950 in cash.

KC December 21, 2012 at 06:37 AM
4Liberty I addressed that very issue with our governor in a two page draft. He referred it to the commissioner of education who never even answered it. The school districts stink to high heaven in this state as regards nepotism - it is not limited to Lacey although generally it is strongly prevalent in the Monmouth/Ocean counties. The powers that be seem to merely pass the buck on this issue. Time for a major stink to open up this roach nest.
KC December 21, 2012 at 06:44 AM
Also, no amount of money can compensate those young people who were stiffed out of jobs they were qualified for but couldn't get if they weren't friends and family of Ritacco clan.Some young adults substitute taught for YEARS in the TR school district while incompetent relatives were hired. For the way he helped destroy these young professionals the judge should order him gelded.
dainty December 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM
What prison are they sending him to? I wonder if he will be local, to make it easier on his family, or if they are shipping him out of state. Just curious*
George December 21, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Ritaccos son Mike is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. I'm sure he has his Dads money hidden all over. He' ll never pay a dime. I'm sure his kids are all set for life on taxpayer money.
TRWatch December 21, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Very Interesting: http://www.oceancountyclerk.com/wb_or1/details.asp?doc_id=6471166&file_num=2012124807&doc_status=V http://www.oceancountyclerk.com/wb_or1/details.asp?doc_id=6471165&file_num=2012124806&doc_status=V
"Bob" Armstrong December 21, 2012 at 02:52 PM
TRWatch....What a surprise, property transactions before restitution is set !!!
bayway mike December 21, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I agree.. He already hid his money..He'll be to broke to pay any restitution..
grace December 21, 2012 at 05:47 PM
they are all disgusting and should not still be working at that district ! should have followed suit and retired with the others who were involved and slipped away like a snake
grace December 21, 2012 at 05:47 PM
seriously what gay would have him!!!
grace December 21, 2012 at 05:49 PM
yes mr gilmore is worried
grace December 21, 2012 at 05:51 PM
yep! his ex wife too with safe deposit boxes condos etc in florida...probably the ex girlfriend and of course his kids
1stcav December 21, 2012 at 07:14 PM
The are time constrain's , if it wasn't done years before he was caught , then they KNOW who owned what before his conviction and it is taken...Can't take Mom's house and put it your name after there sick to say they have NO assets , they check back to see when the transfer took place.....I believe it has to happen at least 2 yrs before you cry poverty and need assistance....to late after there sick, you have to sell there assets to pay for health care or Dr's bills.....then they are illegible..
TRWatch December 21, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Another close friend of the attorney's for the TRBOE. http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/12/nj_lawmaker_schroeder_indicted.html#incart_river_default
Mr. ? December 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM
So tell us how? More info needed ya think?
dave December 22, 2012 at 12:53 AM
i hope they never see the streets again,f#cken thieves
dave December 22, 2012 at 12:58 AM
i hope they never see the streets again,buncha old thugs!!!
4Liberty December 22, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Don’t forget these Board Members who looked the other way or even worst, knew it but were afraid if they opposed him they won’t get re-elected. The media should publish all the contributors of school board members. I wonder how many can be linked to the Gilmore boys, Ritacco, NJEA, professionals?
Mr. ? December 22, 2012 at 02:47 AM
4Liberty writes: 4Liberty writes: 4Liberty writes: "Don’t forget these Board Members who looked the other way or even worst, knew it but were afraid if they opposed him they won’t get re-elected. The media should publish all the contributors of school board members. I wonder how many can be linked to the Gilmore boys, Ritacco, NJEA, professionals?"......... ....What media? the Patch? think not! Look it up yourself on ELEC campaign finance reports and post it here if you really want all to know, and others to know! And Patch, how come you cant reply to a "reply" on this site?
Danny December 22, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Are you kidding, Most of the Board Members are looking the other way, even worse so are some parents. They are all going right along with all the disgusting decisions they are making. They are all doing in exchange for favors, future jobs, position's or special treatment for their kids who are students or were or one time. Nepotism and corruption is going on all schools including higher education. The education system has become a scam like everything else in the world. Get rid of board members, get rid of superintendents. Higher a few county superintendents and assistants to control all these corrupted schools. There needs to be a lot of changes in the educational system.
Danny December 22, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Take away his pension until he pays every dime back. Personally I don't think the pay back is enough or the correct amount. I am sure it was a lot more money that was stolen from our schools and kids that can't be proven.
tuna stick December 22, 2012 at 03:37 PM
We'd all like to see the truth of who knew what and when about relationships between the TR schools and local government. However, the fact is George Gilmore runs Ocean County. He is a republican. Without Ocean County's support (I.e. Gilmore) Chris Christie would not have been elected governor. Christie was a U.S. attorney before being elected governor. Hence, Christie will NEVER allow the U.S. attorney's office to investigate anything in Ocean County. Unless of course the democrats take over. The only reason Ritacco was caught was because the investigation was started when a democrat was in the governor's seat. I am not saying this because I want a democrat as governor. I'm only saying it because we, as Ocean County citizens, are being played by the same old politics as usual game. Sad, but true.
Robert Bressman December 22, 2012 at 09:06 PM
There was a lot of people that looked the other way when Ritacco was the Superintendent, starting with the BOE, teachers, administrators, the Lawyers we let the BOE hire. there's a lot of blame to go around, I just hope we all learned something from this. The APP. in their article said the cost to the taxpayers was around 25 million. Pretty expensive lesson.
dave December 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM
put them in the halloween parade and let everyone throw rocks at them,talk about a buncha low lifes
Ajv December 23, 2012 at 02:29 PM
They all looked the other way because they are all spineless, ball less peices of shit!!!
john December 23, 2012 at 02:42 PM
i like daves idea, a public trashing ! !
Clayton December 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Isn't that the truth...I also like daves idea...lets give the them all a public trashing! Better yet... Lets all make a big circle, let the towns people watch. Put them in shackles and let everyone paddle them as they did years ago or hang them. Maybe then this bad unethical behavior will stop.
charlotte December 25, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I agree - that would be fraud.
charlotte December 25, 2012 at 08:26 PM
That alone is the problem and what has rendered the populous virtually powerless. Mandate an ethics class - turning a blind eye to misappropriation of funds whether through ignorance or greed makes one unsuited for public service. You are taking tax dollars from families. No Guilt?
SystemIsBroken December 25, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Nice Link! If i am reading this correct, Mike takes out 2 ONE year mortgages from family for $250000 at ZERO interest, that HAVE TO BE PAID BACK UPON the Sale. Hope Judge Pisano is aware of these transactions and where the proceeds go! If not going to Attorneys fees , on the surface it has the appearance of Money Laundering to avoid a judgement!
Bowie Thelonius December 25, 2012 at 10:57 PM
I'm not saying there's corruption, but since it's also in Ocean County, can the feds look into OCC? Just to be sure it's all on the up and up :)

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