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.
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..."
Peter Eng April 26, 2014 at 01:13 PM
There is material inaccuracy in the opening statement of the article. The farmland preservation and open space preservation are two different issues. This is about farmland preservation not open space. Maybe the reporter can try to get it right next time. From what I know, NO ONE who qualified for the farmland preservation was ever denied. It is a good thing that Mr Lucas actually farms the land. The people of Manalapan benefit when anyone converts a piece of unwanted development property back to farmland. Just because he got money for doing it (which others also got and he rightly deserves), he is being castigated. Why? Instead of thanking him, why do so many think he has defrauded the township or abused his office? I put it to you simply. If the man has cheated public funds, he needs to be held accountable. But from what I see, everything was done according to regulations and in public. We need to ask the fundamental question: So has he cheated public funds? I believe even the fed prosecutor with all his resources has not charged him with the most fundamental issue -- unjust enrichment from public funds. Everything else is secondary.
Fred Stone April 26, 2014 at 03:12 PM
let the record show that there is no peter eng living in new jersey. so, mr. or mrs. anonymous, why don't you re-read the first two paragraphs. his indictment and subsequent "castigation" are all about his allegedly committing crimes in connection with the purchase of the property, and have nothing by way of any allegation that the farmland preservation activity was itself unlawful. YOU are the one spreading misinformation, not the reporter. so, if he committed crimes for the purpose of getting public funding, that's secondary because farmland preservation is a good thing. can't figure out if you are lacking in intelligence or hoping we are.


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