Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas has been transferred to a residential reentry facility in preparation of his October 23, 2019 release from federal custody, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
Lucas, 41, was convicted on 11 counts of 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 on September 18, 2014.
He was sentenced to five years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson on May 1, 2015. Following his release, Lucas faces three years on probation.
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.