Ocean County GOP Leader Steps Down

George Gilmore (File Photo)

  TOMS RIVER – The county chairman of the Republicans has tendered his resignation following convictions on charges related to tax evasion.

  George Gilmore, 70, of Toms River, was recently convicted of three charges related to tax evasion with his firm, Gilmore & Monahan. This firm does a lot of work for local municipalities. His attorney, Kevin Marino, has said that he is seeking to overturn the conviction. He did not return a request to comment for this story.

  Gilmore resigned as chairman effective 4 p.m. on April 24, according to a press release from the Ocean County Republican Organization Chairman.

  “According to our organizational by-laws vice-chairwoman Barbara Lanuto will take over as acting chair until an election is held to formally nominate a successor,” the release stated. It explained that Lanuto will have 60 days to call a meeting to elect the new chair, and that she has the sole authority to call this meeting.

  Gilmore has his hands in a lot of places in the county. Ever since the convictions, his titles have been falling like dominoes.

  The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office “will be pursuing the forfeiture of all public positions held by Mr. Gilmore,” a representative said. It is unclear if this meant his status as the township attorney in a number of local municipalities. In most of them, he rarely attends meetings. Rather, an employee of his does the work. Municipal officials have stated that they have no problem with the attorney that does the work in his stead.

  He had served as the chairman of the Board of Elections until his resignation effective April 23. His retirement is effective May 1. This is the only regular county employment he has.

  As a convicted person, he loses his right to vote under current law.

  He also resigned as a member of the GOPAC in April. This political action committee raises funds for Republican campaigns and educates candidates on the best practices in winning an election.

  Even before the trial, Gilmore parted ways amiably with lobbying firm 1868 Public Affairs. He had joined them in 2010, when Gov. Chris Christie came into office, and resigned in 2018 when Christie left office.

George Gilmore (File Photo)

The Charges

  Gilmore was found guilty of one charge of making false statements on a 2015 loan application submitted to Ocean First Bank, and two charges of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes withheld from employees for two quarters in 2016.

  A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office detailed the charges. As a partner and shareholder at Gilmore & Monahan, he was in control of the law firm’s financials. For tax quarters ending March 31, 2016 and June 30, 2016, the firm withheld tax payments from its employees’ checks, but Gilmore did not pay them in full to the IRS.

  Regarding the loan application, he applied for a Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to obtain refinancing of a mortgage loan for $1.5 million with a “cash out” provision that provided Gilmore would obtain cash from the loan on Nov. 21, 2014. On Jan. 22, 2015, he updated the application, failing to disclose outstanding 2013 tax liabilities and personal loans he got from other people. He had received $572,000 from the cash out portion of the loan.

  The jury was not able to reach a decision on the charge of tax evasion for years 2013, 2014, and 2015, the court spokesman said. He was acquitted of two charges of filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014.

  The sentencing date will be July 23. The two counts of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The count of loan application fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

  He had been accused of evading more than $1 million in taxes. Meanwhile, he had been spending a great deal on home remodeling and lavish decorations, reportedly such things as a mammoth tusk and a statue of George Washington.

  His attorney, Kevin Marino, had said that these purchases were due to a hoarding disorder, and even retained a psychological expert to testify about it. However, the federal government did not want to hear that testimony. Marino has stated that he will attempt to overturn the convictions.

  The trial had begun April 1, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court.