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SCRANTON, Pa. – A longtime Pennsylvania clerk of courts has been indicted on federal charges that he stole public money and then tried to hide his tracks by forging records.

Former Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts Stephen Lukach Jr. of Nesquehoning was arrested Monday. He pleaded not guilty to 20 counts, including mail and wire fraud. Lukach was released pending trial.

Federal prosecutors say he stole funds from various court accounts, using the money to make car payments and pay for meals, a family member’s credit card bill and other personal expenses. An indictment says Lukach forged bank records in an attempt to conceal the thefts.

Lukach, a Democrat first elected to the office in 1987, resigned under a cloud three years ago.

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