SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A man from Skowhegan is facing charges of fraudulently applying for PPP loans and then allegedly misusing two $59,145 payments: one approved as a paycheck protection loan, and the other a mistaken deposit by his bank, TD Bank.
Wednesday morning was Reardon's virtual preliminary hearing at the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Bangor.
At the hearing, Judge John C. Nivison said that Reardon was charged with two counts: bank fraud and attempted wire fraud.
Reardon's attorney Hunter Tzovarras said Reardon waived his right to a preliminary hearing, so Judge Nivison issued an order to release Reardon with an appearance bond with these conditions:
- Submit and report supervision as directed by pre-trial services
- Seek employment and report that effort
- Needs to surrender his passport
- If pre-trial services recommend him to seek any type of treatment, he will have to do so
- Report any contact with law enforcement
- Can't apply to any pandemic-related financial assistance without approval from pre-trial services
- Can't open any lines of credit or borrow bank money without prial approval from pre-trial services
"Mr. Reardon is in the process of filing for bankruptcy for his businesses, and as I understand that may be filed as soon as today," said Hunter Tzovarras, Reardon's lawyer.
A trial date has not been set.
Reardon could face up to 30 years in prison and face fines of up to $1 million if convicted and could be ordered to repay the loans he received if they are found to have been obtained or used illegally.
A statement to NEWS CENTER Maine from Tzovarras reads:
"We're glad to start the court process today so Mr. Reardon can begin the process of straightening out these claims against him and his businesses. Mr. Reardon applied for these loans, and used the funds, to help grow his small businesses in Maine and pay his employees. He never intentionally provided any inaccurate information on any of the applications. The PPP offered these loans to help businesses struggling during the pandemic and Mr. Reardon applied for the loans for the reason they were being offered."
People who worked for Nathan Reardon tell NEWS CENTER Maine he sometimes didn't pay them or didn't take taxes out of their checks.
"I am still waiting to get paid. He owes me over $6,000," said Deena Whited, the owner of Unity Plumbing. He's never given me a dime and he tried to say that we were incompetent and that all of our plumbing work was crooked or no good, and he had to hire someone else. We had a plumbing inspection and the inspector would have noted and not passed us if our plumbing was not up to code. He gave us flying colors."
Whited placed a mechanic lien on the property to later find out that Reardon doesn't own his property in Skowhegan.
"I hope he gets arrested on all the fraud that he's perpetrated on so many people," said Whited.
Another victim said he owns Taco Shack and Liberty Square in Newburgh and that his suppliers frequently came asking for their money.
The victim said the basic rules of being a business owner include paying your employees and taxes, things Reardon was not doing.
"He wasn't taking taxes out of my paycheck, and from what I've heard, that's going to freeze my tax return next year, which doesn't really excite me very much," said one of the victims who wanted to remain anonymous.
Daniel Watson is a carpenter who worked on the same Skowhegan house.
"After two, three months of not getting paid, I decided to quit," said Watson. "I got three paychecks from him and one was declined and it turned out that his account was frozen and he told me that he would fix it. I knew it wasn't going to go anywhere, so I said I'm done, I can't go without pay anymore."
Adam Domonski rented a commercial space to Reardon.
"I am just another victim of Nathan Reardon's scam, so I just wanted to voice my story about what happened to me. He destroyed my building that has been in my family for about 60 years," said Domonski. "We've owned this property for a long time and to see him destroy it, it really hurts."
Domonski said failed to pay rent and he removed him and his stuff from the property. He said Reardon cut a hole in his building. Domonski is speaking to an attorney to sue Reardon, He said Reardon's damages to the property are worth $5,000.
According to court documents, Reardon got two $59,000 Payment Protection Program loans to help keep his employees on the payroll, yet dozens of people are waiting to be paid.
"He pays bi-weekly and if he decides he is not going to pay you, that's not right you are ruining a lot of people's lives," said one of the victims.
Court documents show Reardon used some of the PPP funds for personal purchases as more than $500 for a pair of caiman skin boots and up to $5,000 on jewelry and other Amazon purchases.