Former Toms River Mayor Carmine C. Inteso Jr. pleaded guilty today to tax evasion in Trenton federal court for failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars of income from the insurance broker who was convicted for bribing school officials, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Inteso pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to one count of tax evasion, Fishman said in a statement. Matthew Reilly, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney, said five other charges against Inteso were dismissed.
Inteso, who held various offices in Toms River from 2002 through 2007, allegedly took a job as a contractor in Afghanistan after learning he was the target of the tax investigation and was taken into custody at New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport in July upon his return to the United States.
Inteso joined the Dover Township Committee in 2002 and became mayor August 13 that year. He then served as deputy mayor in 2003 and later became a councilman-at-large when Dover, Toms River's previous name, had changed to a Mayor-Council form of government, according to Toms River's records.
Payments from Gartland
Beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2008, Inteso accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from Francis X. Gartland, 71, of Baltimore, an insurance broker whose companies provided insurance brokerage services for New Jersey municipal entities – including the Brick Township Board of Education and the Township of Toms River, Fishman said.
Inteso directed Gartland -- who was recently sentenced to 135 months in prison for mail fraud, perjury, and consipiracy to defraud the IRS -- to make the payments to a company Inteso controlled and that had ceased operating by 2007, Fishman said.
According to the U.S. Attorney's indictment against Inteso, he had tax deficiencies of $26,971 for the tax year 2006, $20,839 for 2007 and $3,206 in 2008 when he withdrew money from the "sham company" he created.
Inteso used the funds to pay for his personal expenses and withdrew significant amounts of cash. Despite receiving approximately $291,000 in income from the insurance broker during calendar years 2006, 2007 and 2008, Inteso failed to file personal income taxes for those years, Fishman said.
The count of tax evasion to which Inteso pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for April 22, 2013.
Fishman credited special agents of IRS under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen; and the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, with the investigation leading to the indictment. Fishman said the Office of International Affairs in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and the Diplomatic Security Service’s Regional Security Office in Kabul, Afghanistan provided invaluable assistance with the indictment and arrest.
Gartland, Ritacco ties
Gartland had admitted that he was part of a bribery scheme between 2002 and 2010 that had enriched Michael J. Ritacco, the former superintendent of the Toms River Regional School District, Fishman had said in a statement in April.
Ritacco was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after admitting his role in years of corruption at the school district, where as much as $2.5 million in bribes were allegedly passed between him, insurance brokers and intermediaries. Ritacco will forfeit $1 million, his 2010 Mercedes E550 and $8,960 found at his home.