Francis X. Gartland, the former insurance broker for the Toms River Regional School District, is scheduled to be sentenced this morning for his role in a scheme to pay bribes and other benefits to then-superintendent Michael J. Ritacco.
Gartland, who is scheduled to appear in federal court in Trenton, 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.