Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas has been convicted of all the charges against him by a federal jury in Trenton, according to a report in The Asbury Park Press.
The jury deliberated for three hours after a two week trial before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson.
Lucas, 37, is scheduled to be sentenced to federal prison on January 20, 2015. He remains released on $500,000 bail, subject to home confinement and electronic monitoring, according to Matthew Reilly, Deputy Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Lucas could face over 60 years in prison for his wire fraud, making an illegal monetary transaction, loan application fraud, making false statements to the Internal Revenue Service, aggravated identity theft, obstruction of a grand jury investigation and falsification of records in a federal investigation convictions.
The former mayor’s crimes occurred as he was applying for financing to acquire the 97 acre Burke Farm in Manalapan. After he acquired the farm, he sold the development rights to New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program for $1.2 million, netting a profit of $450,000 and retaining ownership of the farm. The $1.2 million was funded by the taxpayers of New Jersey, Monmouth County and Manalapan.
The federal investigation started as an inquiry into the sale of the development rights to the Farmland Preservation Program, according to a source close to Lucas’s legal team. There was no wrong doing found in the Farmland Preservation deal. However the investigation extended into Lucas’s finances and revealed the irregularities in his application for financing to acquire the farm.