HILLSBOROUGH TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – A Somerset County man Wednesday 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, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Anthony DeLuca, 61, of Raritan Borough 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, Sellinger said.
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 Wednesday 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.