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Maine business owner facing federal PPP fraud charges also has history of wage violations

(WCAX)
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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SKOWHEGAN, Maine (WMTW) - A Maine businessman facing federal charges in connection with alleged Paycheck Protection Program fraud also has a history of wage violations.

According to the Maine Department of Labor, two businesses run by Nathan Reardon were cited for failing to pay workers in a timely fashion on several occasions over the last two years.

Bankruptcy documents also show those workers aren’t the only people Reardon may have owed money to.

The website nathanreardon.com states, “Mr. Reardon is an active advocate for business excellence, service and safety in all aspects of his businesses and business practices.”

The site lists a portfolio of more than 60 entities including property management companies, restaurants and automotive businesses.

Several of those businesses list addresses of the former Sears location at the Bangor Mall. The space was recently condemned due to a lack of heat and sprinkler coverage. The notice, according to Bangor code enforcement, has not been appealed; however, a permit could be applied for to address the issues raised.

Reardon’s federal trial on alleged Paycheck Protection Program fraud charges is set to begin June 7.

Federal prosecutors accuse Reardon of obtaining a nearly $60,000 loan in the early stages of the pandemic, funds intended for business and payroll expenses, but using much of the money for personal expenses.

Reardon has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Hunter Tzovarras, offered no comment.

According to data from the Maine Department of Labor, two businesses run by Reardon have been cited for 698 wage violations over the last two years through Global Disruptive Technologies and Taco Shack restaurants.

Florida LLC filings show Global Disruptive Technologies is currently not doing business.

Taco Shack remains registered with the Maine Secretary of State’s office but no locations are operating.

State records show those businesses failed to issue multiple paychecks and, when asked by the Department of Labor, failed to provide all payroll records, as required by law.

The total cost of assessed penalties is $104,175, according to Maine Department of Labor data. The businesses owe a combined $45,797.80 back wages. According to the recent agency datasets, nothing has been repaid.

The decisions on these violations, the agency said, are final.

8 Investigates reached out to Reardon numerous times but received no comment.

The DOL says attempts to appeal violations for Global Disruptive Technologies in 2021 were abandoned and for Taco Shack they were dismissed.

In 2022, violations were not appealed, according to the agency.

Beyond the citations, Maine’s Department of Labor has not indicated they intend to take disciplinary action against Reardon’s businesses.

The Department of Labor told 8 Investigates they cannot comment on specific cases.

“The Maine Dept. of Labor does have the authority to issue cease operations orders when employers do not comply with labor laws. This is a powerful tool the Department uses in the most egregious of circumstances after a thorough investigation,” agency spokesperson Jessica Picard said.

In 2020, the Department of Labor ordered a Sanford career center, which state documents show owed more than $34,000 in back wages, to cease operations. The agency took similar action again last year against an Augusta call center which, records state, owed $170,000 in back wages. Those are the only times the agency has ever forced a business to suspend operations.

Court records show Reardon claiming dozens of previous employees and contractors have been owed hundreds.

A 2021 bankruptcy filing in Maine listed liabilities of $384,499.47 and estimated debts to between 100 and 199 creditors. The filing also stated Reardon twice previously filed for bankruptcy in Florida in 2014 and 2017. Both of those were ultimately resolved.

The Maine filing lists dozens of people owed “wages, salaries and commissions.” The Maine bankruptcy case was ultimately dismissed with Reardon’s consent.

8 Investigates asked Maine’s Department of Labor about workers owed money.

The agency told 8 Investigates they stay in touch with people who’ve filed complaints resulting in violations and advise next steps if they don’t receive back wages owed.

You can click here to watch the full on WMTW’s website.

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