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MAN FIRED IN THEFT FACES BENEFITS COUNTS

A Buffalo man was indicted Thursday on charges of bilking the state out of about $4,000 in unemployment benefits while working for one company after he was fired when accused of stealing at least $70,000 from a previous employer.

Alan W. Heseltine, 41, of 92 Edgewood Ave. was allowed to remain free on $5,000 bail after he pleaded innocent to a single count of third-degree grand larceny and 13 counts of offering a false instrument for filing.

Prosecutor John C. Doscher told Senior Erie County Judge Rose D. LaMendola Heseltine filed for state unemployment benefits last spring even though he obtained another job soon after he was fired as general manager of Festival Salad Corp. of Buffalo last April, where he was accused of stealing funds.

Heseltine got a job as an agent with an insurance company after his dismissal from Festival Salad, but kept receiving unemployment checks of about $260 each for more than three months, Doscher said. Heseltine, indicted in August in the Festival Salad embezzlement scheme, was fired recently from the insurance company job, the prosecutor said. He worked at Festival Salad for about 11 months.

Ralph C. Lorigo, Heseltine's attorney, told the judge Heseltine already has worked out a pay-back agreement with the state Labor Department. But the prosecutor said the deal wasn't made until after Heseltine realized he was under investigation.

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