Former Schuylkill County Clerk Of Courts Charged With Fraud
HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Steven M. Lukach, Jr., age 68, of Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury on twenty counts of mail and wire fraud and manufacturing records to obstruct an investigation. He was arrested by federal agents this morning and appeared in federal court in Scranton and entered a not guilty plea to the charges. He was released on pre-trial supervision pending trial which was not scheduled.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Lukach served as the Clerk of Courts for Schuylkill County for approximately 27 years. The indictment alleges that in 2013-2014, county auditors with the Controller’s Office began an in depth examination of the Clerk’s Office and discovered misappropriation of funds by Lukach. An FBI investigation ensued and while the audit was going on, Lukach allegedly interfered with the audit by stealing mail that was sent to banks, forged records and sent the fake bank records to the Controller’s Office, in an effort to conceal his thefts.
The indictment also alleges that Lukach stole funds from various court accounts for his own personal purposes, such as paying a family member’s credit card bill, paying for meals, making car payments, and other personal expenses.
The case was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Consiglio.
Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for each of these offenses is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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