A former star soap opera actor from such popular shows as "One Life To Live," and "All My Children," has been charged in connection to an alleged cooking oil theft in the Hudson Valley.
Forbes March, age 49, was arrested along with another man on Thursday, March 2 following a complaint from Michael's Diner in Ulster County for the theft of used cooking oil.
Ulster Police Chief Kyle Berardi said members of the department responded to the diner, at 1071 Ulster Ave. in the town of Ulster for a report that two men were siphoning used cooking oil from a container in the rear of the restaurant.
When officers arrived they found March, along with Oscar Guardado, age 30, of Liberty, siphoning oil from a storage container owned by Buffalo Biodiesel, Berardi said.
March is a resident of the Sullivan County village of Jeffersonville.
He added that the value of the stolen used cooking oil was estimated to exceed $1,000.
Both men were charged with grand larceny and were released. They are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, March 28.
After leaving "As the World Turns," March quit acting and established a new business, the New York Firewood Company in Jeffersonville, according to the business website.
The firm supplies wood for restaurants and private residences in New York City.
March's attorney, Jared Hart of Kauneonga Lake, said in a statement the oil collection from the biodiesel container was a mix-up.
“In early February, Forbes purchased an existing used oil collection route through a known business listing service to supplement another of Forbes’ existing businesses which also provides goods and services to restaurants," Hart said.
Forbes’ existing business had the infrastructure in place to segue into the biodiesel collection market. Michael's Diner was on that purchased route."
Hart explained that part of the collection process involves placing specific containers at restaurants for the oil to be stored and then picked up. Containers had been present at Michael's Diner for months preceding the purchase of the route by Forbes.
"The manager of Michael's Diner has confirmed that his diner was in fact a customer of the business," Hart said.
"At Forbes’ first visit to the location, several containers were present which Forbes was led to believe were all his containers. The containers were poorly marked and seemingly abandoned but oil had been stored in them. The owner confirmed with Forbes that day that the oil was there for him to collect. All of the containers present, except for one, were properly stored for Forbes to collect," Hart said.
He went on to explain that "While not readily apparent to Forbes that day due to the poor markings, one of the containers in fact allegedly belonged to Buffalo Biodiesel."
Hart said there was never an intent to steal nor permanently deprive another company of their alleged cooking oil.
"The oil was offered to be pumped back in immediately and is in fact currently being held by law enforcement," he said.
The market value of the alleged oil removed from the Buffalo Biodiesel container is at most $300, Hart added.
The attorney said the facts are "extremely overblown," and the whole affair is a simple civil matter trumped up to look criminal.
"We are disappointed that Forbes’ efforts as a volunteer with children, refugees, and the arts, as a first responder, and more will forever be overshadowed by these frivolous charges," Hart wrote.
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