Former N.J. Personnel Director Sentenced in Scam

July 11, 2005

New Jersey Attorney General Peter 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.

According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, Joanne Tricarico, 56, of 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.

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 reportedly 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 Jan. 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.

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