An attorney for Forbes March says that the former daytime star’s arrest earlier this month for allegedly stealing used cooking oil was simply a mix-up due to “a poorly marked” container. As previously reported, March — who played AS THE WORLD TURNS’ Mason, ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Nash, and ALL MY CHILDREN’s Scott — was arrested on March 2, along with another man, for siphoning used cooking oil from a container owned by Buffalo Biodiesel at the back of Michael’s Diner in Ulster, NY.
The Ulster Police Department charged March and Oscar Guardado with grand larceny in the fourth degree. However, in a statement given to Deadline, the former actor’s lawyer, Jared K. Hart, says that his client was actually servicing one of the businesses on his legitimate oil collection route the day of the incident.
March, who owns a firewood company that delivers wood to restaurants in New York and New Jersey, purchased an existing used-oil collection route in early February to supplement his existing business; Michael’s Diner is one of the businesses on that route. Used cooking oil can be used to manufacture biodiesel, an alternative to petroleum fuels. There are legitimate companies that collect the grease and recycle it, but as gas prices have risen in recent years, so has the demand for used cooking oil on the underground market.
“Unbeknownst to Forbes, another company called Buffalo Biodiesel also had a container at Michael’s Diner and apparently had not serviced this restaurant in over six months,” said Hart’s statement. “Yet this restaurant had been regularly serviced by the company Forbes bought the route from. At Forbes’ first visit to the location, several containers were present in 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.”
Due to “poor markings” on that container, it was not apparent to March that the vat in fact belonged to Buffalo Biodiesel. “There was never an intent to steal nor permanently deprive another company of their alleged cooking oil,” continued Hart. “The facts and circumstances are extremely overblown, and this is nothing more than a civil matter trumped up to be made to look criminal because a competitor in the biodiesel market failed in their obligations to service their customer.”
Thanks to his existing wood delivery business, March was already in a position “to contribute to the alternate energy resources available” by purchasing the collection route. “We are disappointed that Forbes’ efforts as a volunteer with children, refugees, the arts, as a first responder, and more will forever be overshadowed by these frivolous charges,” concluded Hart.
March is expected to appear in Ulster Town Court on March 28.