By Kaylee Lindenmuth
POTTSVILLE - A former Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts, who served in such a role for 27 years,is facing charges on twenty counts of mail and wire fraud, and manufacturing records to obstruct an investigation.
Steven M. Lukach Jr., 68, of Nesquehoning, Carbon County, was taken into custody by federal agents this morning, appeared in federal court in Lackawanna County, and pleaded not guilty. Lukach was subsequently released on pre-trial supervision pending trial.
The indictment by a federal grand jury against Lukach alleges county auditors with the Controller's Office discovered misappropriation of funds by Lukach in 2013 and 2014.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the matter, and as an audit occurred, Lukach allegedly interfered by stealing mail sent to banks, forged records, and sent the false bank records to the Controller's Office "in an effort to conceal his thefts," according to the Department of Justice.
The indictment also alleges Lukach stole funds from various court accounts for his own purposes, such as making car payments, paying for meals and a family member's credit card bill, and other personal expenses.
Investigating the matter were the Pennsylvania State Police, FBI, and prosecuting the case is Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Consiglio.
The maximum penalty for each offense Lukach faces is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following, and a fine.
No trial date has been set.