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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
July 11, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

 

John R. Hagerty
609-984-1936

 

Former Bloomfield Personnel Director Sentenced to Jail and Ordered to Repay $482,000 in Embezzled Funds after Pleading Guilty to Official Misconduct

TRENTON - Attorney General Peter C. Harvey announced that the former Personnel Director for Bloomfield, Essex County, has been sentenced to state prison and ordered to repay the Township nearly one-half million dollars in embezzled public funds after pleading guilty to official misconduct.

“We are continuing to aggressively investigate and prosecute insurance fraud cases that result in public corruption whether the acts are committed by appointed or elected officials,” Attorney General Harvey said. “This investigation, prosecution, and sentencing demonstrates the commitment of the Attorney General’s Office and the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor in rooting out corruption at all levels of government.”

According to Vaughn L. McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice and Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, Joanne Tricarico, 56, Robertson Way, Lincoln Park, Morris County, was sentenced by Essex County Superior Court Judge Thomas McCormack on July 7 to five years in state prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $482,578.

Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Brown noted that Tricarico pleaded guilty on May 3 to a criminal Accusation which charged official misconduct and theft by deception. In pleading guilty, Tricarico admitted that while employed as the Bloomfield Township Personnel Director she was responsible for managing a publically funded health insurance benefit account for township employees. The account, funded by tax dollars, was designed to reimburse township employees for pharmacy costs and prescription drugs. Tricarico admitted that between January 17, 1997 and March 13, 2004, she wrote checks for personal use from the pharmacy account and attempted to cover up the thefts by making fraudulent entries in the transaction journals used to record withdrawals from the pharmacy reimbursement account.

The Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s investigation determined that in 1997 Tricarico stole $2,945; 1998 the amount was $58,030; in 2000 the amount totaled $106,950; in 2001, $95,445; and between 2002 and 2004, the amount of funds stolen from the account totaled the balance of the $482,578 theft.

The Accusation was filed by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit which investigates and prosecutes civil and criminal Medicaid fraud cases. Supervising State Investigator Russell Rizzo, Deputy Attorney General David B. Noble, and Auditor Cleair Budhu were assigned to the investigation.


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