Trenton, N.J. – A Somerset County, New Jersey man yesterday admitted to paying kickbacks in return for fraudulent overtime payments that he received in connection with his former role as the Director of Buildings and Grounds for the Hillsborough Township School District, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Anthony DeLuca, 61, of Raritan, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to one count of embezzling, stealing, and obtaining by fraud more than $137,000 of funds belonging to and under the care, custody and control of the Hillsborough Township School District, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A).
According to the documents filed in this case:
DeLuca, a long-term employee of the Hillsborough Township School District, was promoted to the position of Director of Buildings and Grounds in approximately July 2019, a salaried position that did not entitle him to overtime pay. Nevertheless, shortly after assuming this position, the School District employee to whom DeLuca reported (referred to as “Individual 1” in the Information) began directing DeLuca to claim that DeLuca was entitled receive overtime payments, including for hours which substantially exceeded those that DeLuca actually worked. DeLuca submitted these claims to Individual 1 who then authorized overtime payments for DeLuca in return for cash kickbacks.
DeLuca admitted in court yesterday that upon receiving the overtime payments approved by Individual 1, DeLuca would typically withdraw cash from his bank account to provide kickbacks to Individual 1. DeLuca stated that Individual 1 would designate the location to which DeLuca should deliver envelopes containing the cash kickbacks, including the console of Individual 1’s vehicle and a drawer in Individual 1’s office desk. DeLuca admitted that through this scheme he received in excess of $137,000 in overtime payments to which he was not entitled and that he provided Individual 1 with at least $39,800 in kickbacks between July 2019 and January 2022.
DeLuca faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and maximum fine of 250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for June 1, 2023.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel in Newark; and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor John P. McDonald, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. McCarren of the Office’s Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Information pertain to Anthony DeLuca and any other individuals referenced are presumed innocent unless and until those individuals are proven guilty.
Defense counsel: S. Emile Lisboa IV, Esq., Hackensack, NJ