Beleaguered Hearts claimed a second win in eight games since their payment troubles began with a comfortable 4-0 defeat of Clydesdale Bank Premier League bottom club Dunfermline.
Stephen Elliott netted from close range after three minutes for Hearts, whose players on Friday submitted an official complaint to the Scottish Premier League after a third successive month when their wages failed to arrive on time.
Mehdi Taouil struck a second after 27 minutes, David Templeton a 71st-minute third and substitute Rudi Skacel a stoppage-time fourth as Hearts lifted at least some of the gloom which has descended on Tynecastle in recent weeks.
Hearts performed well in losing 1-0 at title-chasing Celtic last weekend, but manager Paulo Sergio expressed doubt whether his troops could rise to the occasion against the Pars amid the turmoil.
After three minutes, the concerns of Sergio - serving the final game of a five-match touchline ban - were allayed as Hearts went ahead. Ian Black's corner found Ryan McGowan, who scuffed an attempt on goal. However, Elliott was on hand to turn the ball in, with the Pars players stationary in the box.
Hearts were finding their rhythm and Templeton forced Paul Gallacher into a smart save before Taouil curled an effort narrowly over. Two minutes later, with Dunfermline again backing off, Taouil hit another shot from the edge of the area less cleanly, but the right-footed effort was good enough to put Hearts 2-0 up.
Dunfermline striker Andrew Barrowman headed over from a corner before Marius Zaliukas missed a free header and the chance to put his side further ahead at the interval.
Kello saved well from Liam Buchanan, turning the Pars striker's header around the post for a corner before Hearts came close again. Taouil dispossessed Martin Hardie in midfield before feeding Elliott, who shot into the side-netting.
After Andy Webster was booked for arguing he had been brought down in the visitors' box, a third goal arrived, with Templeton's persistence rewarded. The winger waltzed around the Pars defence to find an opening before curling right-footed inside the post for his first goal of 2011, his last strike coming last December at St Mirren.
Replacement Ryan Stevenson's shot was parried by Gallacher and Skacel headed in the rebound in the second minute of stoppage time to complete the rout.