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Insurance broker sentenced in bribery scheme



TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say an insurance broker who played a key role in a bribery scandal involving the former superintendent of a southern New Jersey school district is now headed to prison.

Frank Cotroneo of Chester Township received a 37-month sentence on Monday and will have to serve three years of supervised release once he’s freed. He also must pay nearly $3.3 million in restitution to the Toms River Regional school district and forfeit another $9.1 million he got through the scheme.

The 63-year-old Cotroneo pleaded guilty to bribery and tax evasion charges arising from his role in a scheme to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to Michael Ritacco, the district’s former superintendent.

In return, Ritacco helped Cotroneo and another broker obtain and keep lucrative insurance brokerage contracts.