TOMS RIVER-Arthur Gallagher was arrested by the Delaware State Police and charged with two counts of theft where the property value is $100,000 or more and two counts of third degree forgery.
The DSP charged Gallagher for committing fraud against a school bus company after forging bank employee signatures in a plot to illegally repossess those school buses.
According to the DSP, The victim advised that the lease was arranged by Arthur V. Gallagher through his company, Gallco Enterprises, located in Belford, New Jersey. Gallco Enterprises is a vehicle and equipment leasing company. The victim then advised investigators that in August of 2010 she had paid off all 11 of the buses that she had leased however; she never received the titles for them.
“When the victim contacted Arthur Gallagher about the bus titles, he was uncooperative and then refused to return her phone calls,” Gallagher said. “It was later learned that Gallagher had financed the school buses that the victim had obtained through two separate banks, New World Bank and Sovereign Bank. The total value of the 11 buses was over $776,000.00.”
The DSP Investigation revealed that from September of 2005 until May of 2001 Gallagher had endorsed checks which totaled over $776,000.00.
It was then learned that on May 15, 2011 Arthur Gallagher had responded to the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles and presented two fictitious letters with forged bank employee signatures advising that the liens against the 11 buses that the victim had leased through his company had been satisfied. With these letters, Gallagher was then able to obtain the titles to the 11 buses even though he did not actually own them. It was also learned that Gallagher had subsequently sold several of the buses back to the Wolfington Bus Company. During the primary election campaign, Gallagher, who ran for political office in his hometown of Atlantic Highlands in 2011 was paid over $50,000 by Maurice Hill. Much of the money paid to Gallagher went into social media and print mailings that countered claims by Hill’s opponents that he had sold out Toms River to the Orthodox Jewish community and railed against Hill’s opponent, Dan Rodrick who exposed Hill’s plans to develop the Ciba-Geigy Superfund Site, downtown Toms River and his relationship to Scott Gartner, a man who once threatened to sue the township if it did not reduce the 10 acre minimum zoning for houses of worship.
Hill has retained Gallagher’s service to continue whitewashing Hill’s involvement with Gartner and his part of in an ordinance released this week detailing the township’s plan to lower that zoning requirement to two acres.
Gallagher runs a political blog in Monmouth County where Democrats have been handily defeating Republicans during the tenure of Ocean County Sheriff Shaun Golden, who also serves as the county’s GOP political boss. Monmouth County also pays Gallagher for advertising on his More Monmouth Musings blog.
In New Jersey authorities charged Gallagher as a fugitive, setting his bail at $250,000 and booking him into the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, where he spent three weeks in jail for the crimes he committed, according to the DSP.
While running for a seat on the Atlantic Highlands council in 2011, Gallagher had to suspend his own politcal campaign after a warrant for his arrest was issued by the Delaware State Police (DSP). The DSP issued a fugitive warrant for Gallagher’s arrest in connection with bus company fraud.
During his election, Gallagher suspended his campaign and was processed and booked by the Delaware State Police.
Gallagher also served on the Atlantic Highlands zoning board until the town enacted a social media policy that caused him to resign from that board. Prior to his arrest, according to the Two River Times, Gallagher served on the borough’s planning board and zoning board of adjustment and was vice-chairman of the borough’s Depuration Plant Commission. He was a past president and board member of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce.
Gallagher is now the subject of an FBI criminal complaint signed by Phil Stilton, editor of Shore News Network. Gallagher, in an attempt to strong-arm Shore News Network into providing positive coverage for his client, Hill, presented a forged check made out to Stilton, purportedly signed by Hill’s political opponent Jonathan Petro. Petro confirmed the check was a forgery and Stilton reported the crime to the FBI Cybercrimes Unit. Gallagher claimed he was sent that check anonymously. The check was presented to Stilton personally by Gallagher, in the presence of Hill’s running mates Kevin Geoghegan, Matt Lotano and Josh Kopf.
After the forged check was presented by Gallagher and Hill’s running mates over Labor Day weekend, Gallagher then requested new Shore News Network partner Frank Sadeghi if the service can be used to attack one of Mo Hill’s council opponents, using the Jackson Township Orthodox Jewish community as cannon fodder. Shore News Network refused Gallagher’s request for a story defaming his opponent.
In an email entitled, “Let’s Discuss”, Gallagher wrote, “We came across the attached lawsuit regarding Jackson, that Phil could have a field day with.” Gallagher detailed a very loosely affiliated story pitch regarding a major lawfirm representing the Jackson Orthodox Jewish community in their RLUIPA lawsuit against the township.
“Phil, if he is inclined, could do more damage to the Toms River Democrats than he has done to the Toms River Republicans, with this information. His doing so could go a long way in mending fences,” Gallagher wrote in his request for a hit piece by Shore News Network for his client, Hill.
Stilton refused Gallagher’s unethical offer.
“I do not know what fences Art Gallagher thinks I am looking to mend,” Stilton said. “Maybe Gallagher should focus more on his campaign’s flailing race and more on his own personal problems than imagining that I would ever want to ‘mend fences’ with those who engage in political corruption.”
In May, Kopf and a relative of Lotano funneled $5,000 to a political PAC, “For the People by the People” run by Gallagher. That PAC made a $10,500 to the campaign of Maurice Hill between May 17th and May 21st.