Ex-Manalapan Mayor Charged with Wire Fraud, Identity Theft
Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas appears in a federal court in Trenton today to answer accusations that he doctored IRS tax returns in order to buy Burke Farm in the township and gave false documents to investigators and a federal grand jury.
Lucas, 36, is the subject of an 11-count indictment, according to the office of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
He's charged with wire fraud, illegal monetary transaction, loan application fraud, false IRS statements, aggravated identity theft, grand jury obstruction and falsification of records in a federal investigation.
The wire fraud and records falsification counts carry prison sentences as high as 20 years and fines up ot $250,000 each if Lucas is convicted at trial.
Prosecutors say that Lucas handed a New Jersey bank bogus 2007 and 2008 tax returns attributed to him and a cosigning relative while applying for a $525,000 loan in 2009. They contend that he also misled loan officers with a report of $210,000 cash on hand.
Lucas is also accused of raising a $250,000 down payment by conning a customer of his Lucas Capital Advisors investment firm into putting up the money as an investment in a non existent company, then using an out-of-state relative's identity - without the relative's knowledge - to create the company on paper. It was called VLM Investments LLC.
According to investigators, Lucas filed tax forms for VLM in 2011 and 2012, again using his relative's identification without the victim's knowledge or consent.