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Inteso Given Six Months Behind Bars, Six Months At Home for Tax Evasion

Carmine Inteso, the former Toms River Township Council and Committee member who spent a year as its mayor, can expect to spend six months in a federal prison and six months under house arrest for tax evasion.

The 47-year-old had pleaded guilty shortly after his December 2012 arrest. He was sentenced in a Trenton courtroom today along with Chester insurance dealer Frank Cotroneo, 63, in separate cases tied to the bribes and kickbacks that earned former Toms River Schools Superintendent Mike Ritacco an 11-year term.

Judge Joel A. Pisano also ordered Inteso to serve two years’ supervised release.

Cotroneo was given 37 months in prison and ordered to pay a combied sum of over $12,000,000 in restitution to the Toms River Regional School District and, in forfeiture, to the United States.

He had pleaded guilty to one count each of bribery and tax evasion in the arrangement that funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Ritacco for his help in maintaining contracts for Maryland insurance broker Francis Gartland, 72.

Gartland, whose agency also had contracts with the Brick Township school system, faces 135 months in prison for his guilty pleas to counts of mail fraud, tax fraud and perjury.

Cotroneo was ordered to restore $3,275,677.65 to the Toms River district, over and above the $4,336,987.91 that Ritacco and Gartland are required to repay. Cotroneo is also required to forfeit $9,126,200.16 to the United States, representing the proceeds of the scam.

Former Toms River school official Frank D’Alonzo previously was ordered to apy $1,625,952.79 in restitution and to forfeit another $4,300,000. Gartland had been ordered to forfeit $11,000,000. Ritacco had been instructed to forfeit to the U.S. $1,000,000, his Mercedes Benz and $8,950 cash.

Investigators accused Inteso of taking a job as a contractor in Afghanistan upon learning that he was a target of the tax probe. He was apprehended upon returning stateside, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Cotroneo admitted conspiring with Gartland and D’Alonzo to shower Ritacco with bribes, benefits and gifts to keep their business affiliation in place from 2002 until April 2009.

The workers’ compensation contracts, said prosecutors, generated excess fees of $500,000 to $600,000 each year, providing the source for the kickbacks.

Cotroneo had also admitted evading hundreds of thousands in federal tax obligations between 2005 and 2007.

Inteso, said prosecutors, took about $291,000 from Gartland between 2005 and 2008, through a company that he controlled and had dissolved by 2007, using it for personal expenses while leaving it unreported to the Internal Revenue Service.

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