Former area teacher sentenced to prison

John Brishcar

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey teacher who stole nearly $249,000 in disability pension payments is going to prison because he was teaching in Virginia.

A judge on Friday sentenced 59-year-old John Brishcar, of Front Royal, to three years behind bars. The judge also ordered Brishcar to pay $248,960 in restitution.

Brishcar, 59, a full-time teacher at Warren County Middle School since 2005, pleaded guilty to theft by deception in February.

Brishcar admitted he deceived the state by submitting an application for disability retirement because he was incapacitated from doing his job with the Piscataway school district. But Brishcar worked as a substitute teacher in West Virginia and as a full-time teacher in Virginia.

Brishcar has been suspended from his job in Virginia.

Acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Elie Honig, director of the state’s Division of Criminal Justice, issued written statements condemning Brishcar.

“Brishcar fraudulently collected nearly a quarter of a million dollars from a disability pension over the course of a decade, but his only disability was a lack of honesty and ethics,” Hoffman said.

Honig said Brishcar “demonstrated just how costly fraud can be to the public pension system.”

The attorney general’s office stated that his application for disability payments claimed “prolonged stress and chronic back pain.” The application was based on medical records and independent medical examination. Brishcar’s application was approved in 2004, but the disability payments were made retroactive to 2003 when he began work as a substitute teacher in West Virginia.

The New Jersey Department of Education’s Board of Examiners ordered Brishcar’s teaching certificates in physical science revoked on March 12 as a result of his guilty plea in February.

Staff writer Joe Beck contributed to this report.