Andrew Lucas Arrested

andrew lucasFormer Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was arrested this morning by federal authorities, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Lucas has been indicted on 11 counts including wire fraud, loan application fraud, illegal monetary transaction, false statements to the IRS,  aggravated identity theft, obstruction of a grand jury investigation and falsification of records in a federal investigation.

The charges are for alleged actions in connection with Lucas’s purchase of Burke Farm. No charges were made in connection of the sale of the development rights to the farm to the government’s Open Space Program, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Lucas is being represented by Mario F. Gallucci of Helbock, Nappa and Gulluci, a Staten Island, NY law firm.

The U. S. Attorney’s statement says:

On Dec.15, 2009, Lucas submitted a loan application to a New Jersey bank requesting $525,000 to finance his purchase of the Burke Farm property in Manalapan. Lucas provided the bank with falsified versions of his 2007 and 2008 tax returns, as well as a falsified version of a 2007 tax return for a relative whose name was also on the loan application. Lucas also falsely reported that he had a total of $210,000 in cash.

Lucas owned and operated Lucas Capital Advisors LLC (Lucas Capital), through which he served as an investment advisor and manager to multiple individuals. To obtain the $250,000 down payment for the property, Lucas approached “Victim 1,” who was a client of Lucas Capital, to pitch an investment in an entity called VLM Investments LLC (VLM). On Feb. 15, 2010, Lucas presented a written note to Victim 1, which stated that the $250,000 investment was to be secured by “…interest in the equipment, fixtures, inventory and accounts receivable” of VLM. However, Lucas failed to inform Victim 1 that at the time the note was signed, VLM did not exist. Lucas also failed to disclose to Victim 1 that Lucas intended to make personal use of the funds. It was not until three days later, on Feb. 18, 2010, that Lucas created VLM by registering it with the State of New Jersey and the IRS, using the name and Social Security number of Lucas’s out-of-state relative, “Victim 2,” without Victim 2’s knowledge or permission.

On Feb. 22, 2010, Lucas wired $250,000 from Victim 1’s Lucas Capital investment account to a VLM bank account that had Lucas as the only authorized signer. On March 1, 2010, Lucas withdrew this money in the form of a bank check, which he provided the next day to the closing attorney for the purchase of the Burke Farm property.

Lucas also filed tax returns for VLM for tax years 2011 and 2012, both times listing Victim 2’s name and Social Security number without Victim 2’s knowledge or permission.

Federal investigators served Lucas with subpoenas on Feb. 7, 2013, for the records of VLM and Lucas Capital Advisors. In response, Lucas provided federal authorities with a fabricated and back-dated letter purporting to be from Victim 2 concerning a transaction for the purchase of the Burke Farm property.

The counts of wire fraud and falsification of records in a federal investigation are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Loan application fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Illegal monetary transaction and obstruction of a grand jury investigation are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years. Each of the charges of false statements to the IRS is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory prison term of two years, to be run consecutive to any other sentence.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI Red Bank Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen; and investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, for the investigation leading to today’s arrest.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Clabby of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton and Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna of the U.S. Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Lucas became aware he was under investigation during in early 2013. He and his attorneys met with representatives of the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office. He turned down a plea deal prior to his resignation from the Manalapan Township Committee.

MMM’s source said that Lucas, a Republican, has reason to believe that the investigation was prompted by his political opponents of both parties asking the FBI to investigate the sale of Burke Farm’s development rignts to the government for Open Space.

 

UPDATED: LUCAS RELEASED UNTIL MONDAY

Posted: February 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Lucas, Manalapan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

26 Comments on “Andrew Lucas Arrested”

  1. Crap said at 2:13 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    Why did you do it Andy, WHY!

    Greed, that’s what it is.

  2. Oh brother said at 2:20 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    if he did it I hope he pays the price and does jail time.

    This is unreal. This who deal including the sale of the develp rights is fishy.

    Signed,

    Republican in name and actions.

  3. Kathy Baratta said at 2:56 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    It doesn’t change the FACT that there was nothing illegal or even untoward about the farm being eligible for and receiving Farmland Preservation funds.

  4. Bob English said at 3:52 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    Nice job by Freeholder Curley for being smart enough to know that this deal had a stench to it.

  5. @ Kathy said at 4:26 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    On face value, I would agree with you. However, if he forged documents to purchase the property, who knows what might have been forged at the back end.

    Let’s all wait for this to shake out, but if true; Andrew seriously disappointed me.

    Jim Granelli

  6. @Why said at 4:34 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    @Why Andy did it — If I can share my own opinion, I doubt it has anything to do with greed on Andy’s part, and all to do with greedy tax collectors and the greedy legislators in Trenton and Washington who tax, tax, tax every cent that it’s citizens earn.

    Andy, despite being a local politician, is/was/should be paying the same ridiculous list of taxes as the rest of us: property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, alcohol taxes, tobacco taxes, luxury taxes, phone carrier taxes, capital gains taxes, corporate taxes, fuel taxes, dog license taxes, cat license taxes, hunting license taxes, fishing license taxes, gift taxes, marriage license taxes, payroll taxes, public utility taxes, hotel/motel taxes, school taxes, social security taxes, unemployment taxes, disability taxes, healthcare taxes, telephone excise taxes, toll taxes, DMV taxes, building permit taxes, jock taxes….. get it yet?

    Andy, like all of the rest of us, was probably just looking for some way to get back some of his own money and navigate an overly complex system to accomplish that simple goal, but alas, like the complexity of the tax code, the laws and legal code are surely equally or more complex and designed in such a way that none of us peasants can ever win or get ahead.

    I’d love to suggest that we all get together, dress up like Indians (and I don’t say Native Americans on purpose you PC jerks) and go throw tea in the river, but the EPA, or DEP because you need to pay for both, would tax us for that too!

    Good luck, Andy, I hope things work out well for your family and yourself and your name can be cleared. And good luck to the rest of us who will continue to be unfairly, unreasonably and unjustly taxed.

  7. MLaffey said at 4:55 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    Not to say this wasn’t illegal even so but I wonder if anyone actually lost any money?

  8. TheLoserIs said at 5:12 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    Mike, you know as well as I know, the only guy who lost money was Andrew. He (and not to attack you directly Mike, even if it is an attack on your profession) probably paid a small fortune to some real-estate lawyer (and I’d bet a fellow “Republican” lawyer) to close on the title/property (as required by NJ State law) and he probably paid a small fortune in bank in (origination?) fees to secure a $525K loan and he probably paid a small fortune in lawyer fees to get the Farm Preservation and now he’s going to spend a fortune on a criminal defense. Andrew lost or will lose money, for sure, and maybe his freedom too.

    I just hope Andrew speaks up and tells us who his POS real-estate attorney was so that the rest of us who want to invest in property don’t make the mistake and end up in jail because our lousy attorney did a bad job or didn’t let us know our actions might be a little shadey. I also want to know the name of the bank that did such a piss poor job of reviewing the documents that the incompetent ‘tards at the FBI can find a problem, with someone else’s money, and yet the lowlife banker doesn’t see a problem with their own money.

  9. May God save us said at 5:17 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    from “fellow Republicans.” If true, very sorry for his young family and people who had put trust in him..

  10. Jim Smith said at 5:56 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    I urge others not to rush to judgement, just like those who rushed to judgement on the author of this site! That being said, I feel for Andrew, his wife Brie and their family. It’s a terrible situation to be a part of, especially for someone who comes from a very strong Christian family.

    If I had to guess, Andrew was the victim of political posturing from members of both parties. If I had to guess, the democrats sold the US attorneys office a bill of sale of how this farm deal involved crooked freeholders, state senators and the governor. Anyone with half a brain could quickly research that almost all of the farmland preservation applications get approved. Had he not been an elected official, this would be a non issue and he would be hailed as a farmland hero for saving farmland.

    Seeing him in action in town, I can attest to his acumen and overall intelligence. I really doubt he would foolish enough to knowingly and willingly falsify documents. I really think that this was a witch hunt from the get go aimed directly at gov Christie. Obviously I say this before any trial…

    The real scum in this ordeal is freeholder John Curley. His quote to the APP is detestable for an elected official. Guilty til proven innocent in his eyes. Regardless, his self loathing posturing is pathetic. I have never seen a politican grandstand more than he has on any level of govt. While he did a great deal of good in the burnham scandal, he looks for any excuse to make himself look like a hero. Hopefully he gets primaried…

  11. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Lucas released till Monday said at 7:09 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    […] Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Arpert in Trenton this afternoon in his initial appearance concerning the 11 count indictment for which he was arrested this morning. […]

  12. And The Republican Hits Around Here Continue! said at 7:34 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    Wow!!! Bridgegate, Zimmer/Guadagno Gate; Guadagno Pension Gate; Andyboy Gate!!! When the hell does all this end?? It is still far from over the shenanigans going on in this town.

    And now John Bennett is floating Shaun Golden’s name in the air as a possible congressional candidate??? You have to be kidding! When is the other shoe(s) going to drop on the sheriff and certain members of the Freeholder Board??

    John Curley who Irish Son of a bitch (said in a very affectionate way of course) perhaps YOU should be the one Bennet talks about as a possible candidate!!!!!

  13. Sancho Panza said at 8:08 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    After four years, it comes out that the purchase price for the farm was $250,000, supposedly not even Lucas’s own money. And Lucas was awarded $1 million for the property with the approval of the township, the county and the state. What a bunch of w—-s!

  14. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Gopal Makes False Allegations Over Lucas Arrest said at 8:21 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    […] Just as he did last October when he falsely accused a Republican candidate for Red Bank Council of being a fugitive, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is lying today in his attempt to make political hay over the arrest of former Manalapan Mayor Andew Lucas. […]

  15. Art Gallagher said at 8:40 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    I think y0u’ve got those numbers wrong, Sancho. There was the $25oK downpayment and the $525K bank loan for a $775k purchase

  16. Tommy De Seno said at 9:08 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    He defrauded a bank?

    Give him a medal.

    I want my bailout money back.

  17. SaltyIV said at 9:31 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    Michelle Roth got it right!

  18. JBS said at 10:15 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    I think we all need to wait for the facts to come out. Preserving this tract of land was a good thing for the township. Would the naysayers prefer more homes and additional stressors on the community? Mr. Lucas was a great mayor who cared deeply about Manalapan High School and the students. He was always there to support all our activities. My questions are …. Are you a victim if you are not hurt? Would this be an issue if politics was not involved? Does Mr. Curley have ulterior motives for his words and deeds? Mr. Lucas you have my support and prayers.

  19. Really? said at 11:17 pm on February 7th, 2014:

    Are we really going to defend the actions by saying that preserving land was a good thing. These allegations have nothing to do with the process to preserve the land (which was deemed legal, even if you don’t agree with the ethics of the situation). If these allegations are true, he committed some serious financial crimes in order to secure the land and then place it into farmland preservation. By falsifying these documents and securing the loan fraudulently, he found a way to illegally gain a large plot of land and nearly half a million dollars in his pocket. You can then really jump down the rabbit hole to question why he felt so confident that this application would be approved? What happens if the land didn’t get placed into farmland preservation and he was now on the hook for a $500K mortgage that he couldn’t afford? However, this is clearly speculation and I am not suggesting any specific wrongdoing there. If these things are true, I do feel bad for his family and the town. It’s very unfortunate when you see things happen this way.

    But, let us not allow political loyalty stand in the way of logic (yeah, I know how ridiculous that sounds). This has nothing to do with the benefits of farmland preservation, and if it was legal or not to do so. And, let us not blame democrats or any other political foe for bringing this to light. Anyone who is falsifying documents to secure funds should be held responsible. This is especially true if the person doing this knows that they stand to benefit from a taxpayer funded subsidy in the end. This isn’t about politics anymore.

  20. Don’t Blame HBO or MTV | The Save Jersey Blog said at 6:15 am on February 8th, 2014:

    […] Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was indicted indicted on “11 counts including wire fraud, loan application fraud, illegal monetary transaction, false s… […]

  21. It's a shame said at 7:15 am on February 8th, 2014:

    If you do the crime you must be willing to serve the time.
    I don’t care who he thinks caused the investigation, either Dem or Rep foes, but this type of fraud is wrong regardless.
    And to think he has an Ivy League education? He wasn’t smart enough to see the forest through the trees and realize the scrutiny this get rich quick deal would receive.
    Question I have is why didn’t the previous Burke Farm owner sell the development rights to the County? Did that person not have the “connections” ?!?

  22. Sancho Panza said at 3:10 pm on February 9th, 2014:

    Art is right to a certain extent about Lucas’s profit from the scheme. But as a poster on the njo.com Manalapan forum pointed out, “95+ acres of free land and one free building lot to build his dream castle with the extra $425,000. Can’t get much better than that !”

    By the way, is the name of the hoodwinked bank in the indictment or will we have to attend the trial to relish that additional nugget of ridiculousness?

  23. hoodwinked bank??? said at 10:40 pm on February 9th, 2014:

    hoodwinked bank? No way. The bank is responsible for the trouble. The slime bankers request so much non-sense paperwork full of fine print and legalese and push paper in front of you until you succumb, and then they take as much money as they can from you and claim it was all explained. Andrew is a hero to everyone has ever tried to deal with a bank loan and the principles of whatever broker or bank originated this loan should to be investigated for fraud, predatory lending and deceptive lending practices.

  24. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Lucas Posts Two Properties To Cover His Bail said at 7:52 pm on February 10th, 2014:

    […] to cover the $500,000 bond which was a condition of his release from federal custody. Lucas was arrested Friday on 11 federal charges last week, including wire fraud, identity theft and providing false […]

  25. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Lucas Posts Two Properties To Cover His Bail said at 7:52 am on February 11th, 2014:

    […] to cover the $500,000 bond which was a condition of his release from federal custody. Lucas was arrested Friday on 11 federal charges last week, including wire fraud, identity theft and providing false […]

  26. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Monmouth Democrats Are Off And Running said at 11:02 am on March 10th, 2014:

    […] out of court by Judge Lawrence M. Lawson.  Yet the Dems have nothing else and are emboldened by Lucas’s indictment on charges related to his purchase of Burke Farm.  There are no charges related to the […]