Ex-Pennsylvania court clerk sentenced for mail fraud

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — Schuylkill County's former clerk of courts is going to federal prison after he tried to cover his tracks when an audit uncovered a misappropriation of funds.

A judge on Thursday sentenced Steven Lukach Jr., 70, of Nesquehoning, to 27 months behind bars for mail fraud and falsification of records. He also ordered Lukach to pay nearly $16,000 in restitution.

Lukach served approximatekly 27 years as court clerk in the Pennsylvania county when an audit in 2013 uncovered $40,000 was misappropriated. The funds included money to be paid as restitution to crime victims, fines due to be paid to the county and state, and bail funds due to be returned, federal prosecutors said.

Aaccording to prosecutors, Lukach stole mail that was sent to banks, forged records and sent fake bank records in a bid to conceal that he was taking funds from the various accounts for his own personal purposes. He paid a family member’s credit card bill, bought meals, made car payments and covered other personal expenses, prosecutors said.

He must report to prison by Nov. 17.