BANGOR (AP) – A former Maine National Guard sergeant accused of double dipping in an alleged scam that allowed him to draw pay from his civilian employer and the military at the same time pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to a 57-count fraud indictment.

Dale Basher was accused of forging three military orders so he could continue to receive his civilian paycheck from what was then MBNA while working with a Waterville-based Guard unit whose mission is to train civilian first responders to deal with weapons of mass destruction.

Basher, 36, of Waterville, was released on personal recognizance and his case was placed on the court’s July trial list.

Civilian soldiers who go on active duty usually take an unpaid leave of absence, said Maj. Michael Backus, a spokesman for the Maine National Guard.

All members of Basher’s former unit, the 11th Civil Support Team-Weapons of Mass Destruction, are on active duty, Backus said.

Basher, who left the Maine National Guard when the FBI began its investigation of his case, allegedly collected more than $57,000 from MBNA between July 2002 and October 2004.

The indictment said the biweekly paychecks were electronically transferred to Basher’s bank account.

If convicted of the fraud counts, he faces up to 30 years in prison and could be ordered to pay restitution.

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