Skowhegan man accused of using PPP loan to buy cowboy boots now faces state theft charge

·4 min read

Oct. 18—The first Mainer accused of fraudulently obtaining a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program is now also facing a state-level theft charge stemming from more than $10,000 he allegedly still owes to plumbers, carpenters, electricians, construction workers and laborers.

Nathan Reardon, 43, of Skowhegan and formerly of Brewer allegedly refused to pay 17 individuals and two firms between Aug. 14, 2020, and Feb. 27, 2021, according to Somerset County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, who said her office would prove that Reardon owed more than $22,000 in bills for renovation work on a commercial property.

He was indicted Thursday by the Somerset County grand jury on a charge of theft of services.

An arraignment date has not been set.

The theft of services charge marks Reardon's latest dealing with a court this year.

Reardon filed for bankruptcy in April in an attempt to reorganize his debt after he was accused of defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program, a business relief program passed by Congress early in the pandemic.

His bankruptcy filing lists nearly 200 creditors, many of whom were listed as former employees owed back wages. The claims registry also showed that he owed thousands of dollars to plumbers, electricians, security firms, construction companies, utilities, cable firms, cell phone providers and individuals who gave him personal loans.

Reardon owed $36,000 in federal and state back taxes and more than $55,000 in back rent for business properties in Bangor and Brewer. The bankruptcy filing also said that he owes the government $90,000 for the PPP loan — $60,000 for the loan and $30,000 for money he received mistakenly and spent.

The bankruptcy case was dismissed in July after Reardon failed to pay back taxes to the state of Maine.

Reardon appears to have abandoned plans to open a Taco Shack restaurant at 95 Center St. in Bangor similar to the restaurant he operated in Newburgh that is now closed.

Reardon applied for the Paycheck Protection Program loan for his business, Global Disruptive Technologies Inc., on April 3, 2020, one week after Congress passed the CARES Act that provided money for business loans through private lending institutions, the affidavit said.

Reardon sought the loan through TD Bank in Bangor where he had a checking account.

In applying for the loan, Reardon allegedly lied about the business' monthly payroll and expenses. When the loan was approved and the money was transferred to his account on April 22, 2020, it had a negative balance of more than $4,000, the complaint said.

Eight days later, Reardon allegedly applied for a second PPP loan using the same false information. The bank denied that application but mistakenly released another $59,145 to Reardon's account on May 4, 2020, according to court documents. Two days later, TD Bank identified the error and placed a freeze on the remaining $28,000 in the account.

Reardon's purchases with the illegally obtained loan included a men's 14-carat yellow gold wedding band, clothing, shaving products, toys, an LED barber pole light and a pair of caiman skin cowboy boots, a court affidavit said. Caimans are a species related to alligators found in Central and South America.

He listed some of those items as assets in his bankruptcy filing.

In May, Reardon pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor to five counts of bank fraud, three counts of attempted wire fraud, two counts of making false statements to a bank and one count of perjury.

The perjury charge stemmed from his first court appearance in April, not from the loan process. Reardon allegedly lied about his income on the financial form used in determining whether a defendant qualifies for a court-appointed attorney. He listed his income as zero on the form but listed a monthly income when he filed for bankruptcy, according to the indictment.

If convicted in federal court, Reardon faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. He also could be ordered to repay the amount of the loans, including the money he received mistakenly.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and fine of up to $20,000 on the state charge. Reardon also could be ordered to pay restitution if convicted.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting