A Cedar Rapids man convicted for bilking investors out of thousands of dollars, who attempted to escape to India on the last day of his trial, will be sentenced next month in Linn County District Court.
Alan Lucas, 43, failed to appear for the last day of his trial last October, where a jury convicted him of ongoing criminal conduct and first-degree theft. He faces up to 35 years in prison and could face an additional five years if convicted on the failure to appear charge. He will also have to pay victim restitution.
His sentencing was reset last week to Feb. 21, because his extradition hearing in Wisconsin was reset to Feb. 10. Lucas fled to Wisconsin during his trial, planning to escape to India, but was arrested before boarding the plane. Lucas then refused extradition back to Iowa.
According to trial testimony, Lucas purchased Convenant Investment Fund from an associate, Noah Aulwes, in May 2010, and Aulwes transferred nearly $190,000 in the fund to Lucas, but the 40 investors were not informed of the transaction.
Lucas then took the investors' funds and paid off his personal credit card, rent for his company Asherlee Management, property taxes, purchased a BMW and other items, according to trial testimony. Lucas claimed at trial that he was the general partner of the fund and had a right to the assets of the company, but according to terms of the fund the contract was between the investors and general partner Noah Aulwes.
The jury took only 50 minutes to convict Lucas.
Aulwes, 55, of Cedar Rapids, was convicted of securities fraud, first-degree theft and money laundering in December 2012, and is serving a 10-year prison sentence. He was also ordered to pay $363,000 in victim restitution.Last year, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld the Iowa Attorney General's Office civil judgment awarded last year for more than a $1 million against Lucas and eight businesses he controlled. Lucas was accused of engaging in a pattern of fraudulent conduct for the purpose of bilking investors out of more than $150,000 they believed they had invested with Aulwes.