TRENTON — The former superintendent of Toms River Regional was sentenced to 135 months of jail and voluntarily submitted to U.S. Marshals Friday afternoon to begin serving his sentence immediately.
Michael Ritacco, guilty of tax evasion and mail fraud relating to more than $2.5 million in bribes and kickbacks passed between the former superintendent and co-conspirators, also faces a restitution hearing, his lawyers said.
Attorney William Hughes confirmed no restitution was ordered at the sentencing Friday and instead a separate court proceeding, possibly in December, will be scheduled to decided if and how much restitution Ritacco must pay.
In court Friday, sentencing Judge Joel Pisano said several million dollars were "fleeced" from the school district, due to inflated contracts Ritacco helped to orchestrate over the span of 12 years, or from Ritacco purposefully hiring co-conspirators to help facilitate deceit, he said.
Attorney Jerome Ballaratto said about $1 million in owed taxes is nearly repaid after the sale of Ritacco's home in Seaside Park. The home is currently listed for sale, placed on the market earlier this month.
Ballaratto said proceeds from the sale would likely be used for repaying taxes owed, as outlined in charges Ritacco pleaded guilty to, for tax evasion. According to a federal indictment, Ritacco failed to report the proceeds of the cash payments he received for multiple years.