Skowhegan Man Indicted for COVID-19 Relief Fraud
BANGOR, Maine – A federal grand jury in Bangor returned an indictment today charging a Skowhegan man with filing fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications and other offenses, Acting U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark announced.
The indictment charges Nathan Reardon, 43, with five counts of bank fraud, three counts of attempted wire fraud, two counts of making false statements to financial institutions and one count of perjury.
According to the indictment, Reardon submitted several fraudulent applications for PPP loans that were guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). He also allegedly submitted fraudulent applications for direct loans from the SBA and provided false information in applications seeking disbursement of PPP loan funds.
The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020. It is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding, and another $284 billion in December 2020.
The PPP allows qualifying small businesses and other organizations to receive loans with a maturity of two years and an interest rate of one percent. Businesses must use PPP loan proceeds for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. The PPP allows the interest and principal to be forgiven if businesses spend the proceeds on these expenses within a set period and use at least a certain percentage of the funds for payroll expenses.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the SBA Office of Inspector General are investigating the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation. Like all defendants, Reardon is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disastercomplaintform.