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Former Schuylkill Clerk Lukach sentenced in federal court

Former Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts Stephen Lukach Jr. must serve 27 months in prison and pay more than $15,000 in restitution, a federal court judge ruled on Tuesday.

Lukach, 70, of Lake Hauto, received his sentence after pleading guilty last August to one count of mail fraud and one count of falsifying records related to an investigation into theft from his office.

Lukach will report to serve his sentence on Nov. 17 at 2 p.m., barring any delays in designating him to a prison.

A grand jury indicted Lukach in 2018 on 20 charges stemming from an investigation into theft from his office.

Lukach pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud for creating a fake bank statement in an effort to hide bank transfers which showed evidence that he funds from the clerk’s office.

He also pleaded guilty to a single count of falsifying documents, for altering a computer database that the clerk’s office kept to try to cover up misappropriation of funds.

He was ordered to pay $15,927 in restitution to the clerk’s office for funds which he allegedly took.

Lukach, a Democrat, served as clerk of courts for 27 years. He retired in 2014 shortly after FBI agents conducted a search of his office.

The FBI started their investigation after the County Controller’s office collected evidence that Lukach was misusing funds.

Judge Robert D. Mariani said that Lukach broke the trust put in him by the people of Schuylkill County who elected him to his post.

Family members and longtime friends spoke about Lukach’s character and the impact that his sentence would have on their family.