Former Toms River Mayor and Councilman Carmine Inteso might spend up to five years in prison at his scheduled April sentencing for federal income tax evasion. He pleaded guilty today in Newark.

carmine inteso
Former Toms River Mayor Carmine Inteso (facebook)

The man who funneled the unreported income to Inteso, according to court documents, is 71-year-old Francis Gartland, the Maryland insurance broker who is now serving up to 135 months for mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and perjury. Gartland admitted bribing former Toms River Schools Superintendent Mike Ritacco as much as $1,000,000 over nearly a decade to keep his contracts with the district. Federal authorities say he also held contracts for the Brick Township school system and Toms River Township.

Gartland was also sentenced to 15 years in a similar case tried by the state regarding the Perth Amboy school system.

Inteso pleaded to the first of six counts for which he'd been under indictment since shortly after his arrest in July of this year. He was apprehended at JFK International Airport in New York, on arrival from Afghanistan where investigators say he took a job as a contractor after learning that he was under scrutiny.

Inteso admitted taking about $291,000 from Gartland from 2005 through 2008 to pay personal expenses, directing the broker to deposit the money in a company he owned. Authorities determined that he failed to report any of the income on his federal tax returns in 2006, 2007 or 2008.

As an elected official, Inteso bridged the span of time that ushered in the township's new identity and government format, serving as a Dover Township Committeeman, Deputy Mayor and Mayor starting in 2002, and winning election as a Toms River Township Councilman in a term that ended in 2007. He campaigned to become the township's second elected mayor as Paul Brush's term drew to a close, losing the election to current Mayor Tom Kelaher.

Inteso also faces possible fines as high as $250,000.

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