- Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A former New Jersey mayor who falsified loan documents and stole a relative’s identity to purchase a farm property was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.

Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was sentenced on federal fraud and obstruction charges in U.S. District Court in Trenton.

A jury convicted him in September of wire fraud, identity theft, obstruction and lying to the IRS.

Prosecutors said the 37-year-old lied on the application by claiming that the loan would be repaid using the sale of development rights through the state Farmland Preservation Program. That program pays farm owners who want to keep farming their land rather than sell to developers.

He also claimed to have more than $200,000 in the bank.

To form the company, Lucas listed the name of a relative as the company’s only member, without the relative’s knowledge or authorization. Lucas used the $250,000 from the investment client as a down payment for the farm purchase, according to the indictment.

Lucas was also charged with obstructing a federal investigation last year for allegedly responding to a subpoena by forging his relative’s name on a letter meant to hide the fact the money was fraudulently obtained.

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