Newly filed civil court paper work claims to show how Luzerne County attorney Anthony Lupas carried out an alleged scheme to swindle clients out of their life savings.
An attorney representing three families said Lupas enticed them with an investment from oil and gas drilling on land owned by well-known Dunmore businessman Louis DeNaples.
One day after being charged with mail fraud in federal court, Luzerne County attorney Anthony Lupas is now being hit with more civil action.
Paper work filed at the Luzerne County Courthouse on behalf of three more clients claims Lupas was running a Ponzi scheme and used Louis DeNaples’ name to do it.
Court documents state Lupas was “selling interests in a gas drilling operation that Louis DeNaples was supposed to be conducting on acreage” in Luzerne County.
The clients, one of whom said he was a friend of Lupas’ for 45 years, said Lupas encouraged them to “invest significant portions of their life savings with the promise of having a return on their investment of 7 percent interest, tax free.”
In the paperwork, the clients claim Lupas told them “if Louis DeNaples strikes natural gas and/or oil on the land he is drilling next to attorney Lupas` property in Bear Creek Township or the vicinity” then those clients could withdraw their invested money plus interest.
However, the document states Louis DeNaples said he did not even own that property after 2004 and that he was unaware Lupas was using his name to collect money.
This filing asks the court permission to publish the civil suit as a legal advertisement in the newspaper as a way to serve notice to Lupas.
The document said attempts by the sheriff’s department to serve Lupas in person at his home in Laflin, at an apartment in Plains and at his law office in Wilkes-Barre have been unsuccessful.
It is not clear if this civil action has anything to do with the federal case Lupas is now facing.
Lupas was charged Thursday at the federal courthouse in Scranton with one count of mail fraud.
His passport was taken; he now must wear a monitoring device and is on house arrest.
There is no word when a judge could decide if the civil notice to Lupas can be published in the paper.