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LOCKPORT – Concerns over a state tax lien caused a postponement Thursday of the auction of property owned by a criminal who was ordered to pay restitution for stealing about $600,000 from an elderly man who suffered from dementia.

Sgt. Cory Diez, chief of the civil division of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, said the auction of the property owned by Kenneth C. Heitzenrater on Ridge Road in Newfane has been rescheduled for 10:30 a.m. April 23 at Diez’ office.

The state Tax Department filed a lien against Heitzenrater Oct. 10 for $57,084 in unpaid income taxes, interest and penalties. Diez said attorneys in the case are working to avoid having the buyer of the 5.6-acre property being stuck with that lien. The buyer already would be expected to pay the delinquent property taxes of more than $9,200.

Heitzenrater owned a snack bar and his wife a quilt store on the property. He pleaded guilty in October 2012 to fourth-degree grand larceny and agreed to sell the business property and his own home in Somerset to raise money for restitution to the now-deceased victim’s estate.

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