Scranton Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Federal Program Fraud In Connection With Overtime Patrol Shifts At Scranton Area Housing Complexes
SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Steven M. Lukach, Jr., age 69, of Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on August 8, 2019, before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani to mail fraud and falsification of records.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Lukach served as the Clerk of Courts for Schuylkill County for approximately 27 years. 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 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. Lukach did so in an effort to conceal that he was taking funds from various 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 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Consiglio is prosecuting the case.
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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