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Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas Arrested

Lucas allegedly defrauded a client and submitted falsified tax returns to purchase Burke Farm, which was later approved for open space preservation by Monmouth County.

Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was arrested Friday in connection with his purchase of the Burke Farm, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

Lucas, 36, was arrested as a result of an 11-count indictment charging him with wire fraud, illegal monetary transaction, loan application fraud, false statements to the IRS, aggravated identity theft, obstruction of a grand jury investigation and falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Lucas allegedly provided falsified versions of his 2007 and 2008 tax returns in a loan application to a New Jersey bank in which he requested $525,000 to finance his purchase of the property. He is also accused of falsely reporting that he had $210,000 in cash.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Lucas, who owned and operated Lucas Capital, approached a client to pitch an investment in an entity called VLM Investments in order to obtain the $250,000 down payment for the property from that person.

On Feb. 15, 2010, Lucas presented a written note to the client stating that the $250,000 investment would be used for equipment and inventory for VLM. However, Lucas allegedly did not inform the client that, at the time the note was signed, VLM did not exist or that he intended to make personal use of the funds.

On Feb. 18, 2010, Lucas created VLM by registering it with the state and the IRS, allegedly using the name and Social Security number of an out-of-state relative without that person's knowledge or permission.

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

Lucas was scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Earlier Patch coverage of Burke Farm land deal

This is a developing storyline. Patch will have more information as it becomes available.
Jeff February 07, 2014 at 04:09 PM
So what happens to all the taxpayers money he scammed Manalapan into spending for the property he illegally purchased? Not to mention the other crooks who signed off on the deal?
Curious George February 07, 2014 at 04:48 PM
Let's see how all his staunch defenders deal with this...A crook is a crook is a crook! An eleven count indictment and no one knew he was doing this? Next thing you'll tell me is that Christie didn't know what everyone else knows he knew...I can't wait to see how long it takes for some Lucas/Christie defender to bring up Benghazi...
KD February 07, 2014 at 07:07 PM
This whole land scam stunk from day one and our local "authorities" turned their noses in another direction to assist their favored boy. I think they should all be investigated as it was quite apparent from the start that this land transaction was totally unethical.
Jddigger February 07, 2014 at 07:45 PM
Nobody turned there noses, he bought a farm that's been laying dormaint and the only people who used it was the farmer and landscapers who dumped grass clippings. He didn't steal from the local governments anyone could buy a farm and sell the building rights back to the farmland preservation. FBI fabricated a bogus story, great person tried to help his local community got the shaft. Sad
KD February 07, 2014 at 08:49 PM
Dig a little deeper, Jd. Why did the original farm owner, Diamond Builders, not apply for, and sell, the development rights for 1.2+ million dollars and get to keep the 90+ acre farm, instead of losing it to then Mayor Lucas or an alleged, and never disclosed, estimate of around $800,000 including the building right to build his personal home? Do you smell anything yet?
Jddigger February 07, 2014 at 09:30 PM
No diamond walked from the land cause the housing market collapsed at that time. You weren't selling multi million dollar mansions in 2008/09. Also they were unaware that on the one end of the property is an active airport which butts right up to that property. If he didn't buy it the land would have sat till someone else would have done the samething and sold it to farm land preservation
The way it was February 08, 2014 at 06:34 AM
I agree with Jeff, what will happen ? Will we see further indictments for accessories to the crime?? Also do we get the money back he was paid??? I guess it will now be said " he wasn't a team player"
mark cohen February 08, 2014 at 08:49 AM
Does this have anything to do with the the land across from the p/d and post office were the new soccer field was built. That was bought buy a few investors right before they put into place the plan to build the soccer field (inside info)? NA our guys are all (friends of ours) HA Ha There was a huge amount of profit from that deal !
Sanman February 08, 2014 at 10:25 AM
This state is full of corrupt politicians from the top to the bottom and we voted for them no matter what party they belong too live with it voters
Curious George February 08, 2014 at 11:36 AM
What is frequently cited by "others" is the systemic opportunity for all this corruption by the number of individual municipalities throughout the state with their own bureaucacies within bureaucracies within bureaucracies...Each one generates their own quest for power by wannabe politicians, many who generate their own Peter Principle levels of success by sitting on schoolboards, township councils and all the numerous committees that are part of the process...The general voting public has no interest in these local issues, demonstrated by the extremely low turnout for these elections...It's bad enough that we don't see much more than 50% turnout for national elections...These local politicians game the system knowing that the odds are in their favor and they have the support of their fellow board members. We saw that with the former sup't. of the FRHSD who along with several others, received phoney doctorate degrees from a bogus online universtity...He was supported by most of the other members of the schoolboard at the time...Now we have the former mayor being led away in handcuffs with an 11 count indictment charging him with all kinds of crimes and he was (and who knows, probably still is) supported by the current Manalapan Town Council...How could they not know what Lucas was doing? The same could be said of our current Governor...How could he not know what all his assistants were doing? Most these people came up through the same corrupt system that begins in all these small municipalities and since they got away with it in the past, there was no way to believe they wouldn't now....
Sean Conneamhe February 09, 2014 at 05:54 AM
"Impeach Christie...."
mark cohen February 09, 2014 at 09:13 AM
The only reason today theses so called public off run for office is not the pay $ or to help the public it is a power trip . Most that run have all the money they need and when they leave office are set for life . We have a great country but the one,s in charge are doing very little and lots of talk. A new broom sweeps clean and you must start at the top and fire all the rest and i mean all.you can not do a job if you do not know you people.
Fred M February 09, 2014 at 10:57 AM
I would also like to know how his application got approved to buy the land? Why wasnt the fraud discovered before ? Something must be wrong when application for loan gets approved then later it's discovered it was fake. There needs to be a better system to approve loans.
Fred Stone February 09, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Fred M is not me, just for the record.
Fred Stone February 09, 2014 at 11:26 AM
furthermore, while I think the people on the TC who voted for the land deal were morally blind to the obvious sliminess and favoritism that any sane person would have recognized, and god bless michelle roth and amy mallet for standing up for good government and propriety, there is absolutely no reason to believe that any of those who did support the land grab would have had any knowledge whatsoever of the actions alleged to have occurred that gave rise to the criminal charges.
Jddigger February 09, 2014 at 03:26 PM
This is getting quite comical, you bone heads will read anything that's posted on here and regard it as truth. Not every person that's a politician is corrupt, I could say anyone with a confederate flag has to be a redneck. He was brought up on these charges, which he is innocent till proven guilty.
Curious George February 09, 2014 at 03:37 PM
Mr. Stone, I would like to differ with you on that last point...It's very similar to the Chrisiie situation when it was quite obvious that he didn't want to know what was going on around him. Why else would a former federal prosectutor fire his closest assistants for lying to him, besmirch them personally and never ask what or why they did what they did. The answer is obvious, he didn't want to know..I think the same thing applies to the Manalapan T.C. There were several years of pertinent questions and charges that were raised during this whole process of acquiring that farm property...Doesn't it seem strange that, almost to a person, they all supported that process without trying themselves to understand what was ultimately demonstrated to be wrong? They might not have had exact knowledge of some of the grimier details that were among those 11 counts but surely they had to know something was fishy...It can't be that only the democrats in Manalapan were smart enough to know it was a bad deal...They didn't want to know. In this case this republican fish was rotten from the county level down to the town council...What a surprise.
Sanman February 09, 2014 at 03:41 PM
JD wake up an smell the roses
KD February 09, 2014 at 06:24 PM
In the words of my late father, Mr. Lucas's chances of beating these federal indictments are "deader than Kelsey's nuts".
Sal February 10, 2014 at 01:37 AM
Looks like we all owe the FBI and US Dept. of Justice another very Big THANK YOU. Hopefully by the time the DOJ get through with him _____ he will be penniless and serving time with Bernie Madoff. Like all criminals he will try to cut a deal for a lighter sentence and start ratting on everyone he can__ and more heads will be rolling..
Sal February 10, 2014 at 01:54 AM
If Lucas is found guilty by a jury, or if he pleads guilty to avoid a trial ___either way the people of the Town of Manalapan should then file a class action law suit against Lucas seeking compensation personally from Lucas and his estate for reimbursement of the added costs to the taxpayers of Manalapan and Monmouth County..
pat February 10, 2014 at 08:01 AM
So young, yet so vile. It's obscene. To know he had only a short lifetime to learn how to scam. Bring up your children well, folks. Disgusting story.
Curious George February 10, 2014 at 10:50 AM
But what does this say about all the local republican pols in the county and township who bent over backwards to not only approve this sale but ridicule anyone who saw through the scam and stood up to criticize it? Right now, the Manalapan T.C. is 100% republican and we haven't heard anything from them regarding these events...It is so typical of these petty wannabe pols who are bureaucratic bunglers just in it for what they can get out of it...The hell with the public as long as you play the game.
Grace Trezza Abramov February 12, 2014 at 01:05 PM
i personally think that this entire open space is a joke on the taxpayers dime. not only was there fraudulant document. but a profit made on this. everyone thinks open space is saving our farms..its robbing the taxpayers of revenue that could be used to off set property taxes. look at how much taxes could have been generated by having million dollar homes built with little impact on our services..
Marlboro VoiceofReason February 12, 2014 at 01:40 PM
Welcome to the real world . . . . are there any non-corrupt politicians?
Jddigger February 12, 2014 at 07:18 PM
How is it robbing? Any one of you ignorant a$$h0les can buy the farm and sell it to farm land preservation? So every farmer in manalapan that sold there land to farm land preservation robbed you?
Dan February 12, 2014 at 07:31 PM
But not with money that you don't have nice try
The way it was February 12, 2014 at 07:56 PM
For him to go to these lengths and take these chances he had to be assured he would get approvals. This was a done deal! Now that's what needs to be investigated, what about all the other farms that would have been a better candidate for preservation, they got passed up. I hope they all get together and sue everyone that voted for this....cronyism at its most vile level.
Curious George February 13, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Grace, the schools and roads are already overcrowded enough. The last thing Manalapan or any of these local towns needs is more development. Not until the infrastructure is improved should we even think of using additional housing as a means of adding tax base. We need more revenue producing business options on available land to provide a tax base not more population that will drain existing facilities more than is already happening.
Fred Stone February 14, 2014 at 11:18 PM
"He was brought up on these charges, which he is innocent till proven guilty." JDDigger hey, JD--> A guy comes to you and asks for a job at your company. He says, "Oh, by the way, the Feds have indicted me for 11 felonies, but that shouldn't concern you, because I pleaded not guilty and I'm presumed innocent until convicted by a jury of my peers." Bro, you hire that guy and I say your "still crazy after all those years..."

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