Nathan Reardon stepped out of a silver Mercedes sedan on July 26, about two and a half weeks after he finished serving a federal sentence for fraud. With him at the apartment complex in Howland was a handyman carrying tools and building supplies.
A reporter watched as Reardon led the man to an apartment where he told him what flooring needed to be cut and placed throughout the unit. Later that afternoon Reardon took another man on a tour of a different apartment around the side of the building.
A judge has prohibited Reardon, 45, from working for himself or anyone close to him. But by talking to tenants and a carpenter, and reviewing texts messages and photographs, the Bangor Daily News found that, in his short time out of prison, Reardon has resumed property management and landlord duties for a company run by his father on paper.
Reardon has a history of violating labor laws and failing to pay taxes, and he recently served prison time for defrauding the federal government in 2020. As part of his sentence, a judge barred him from running his companies and ordered Reardon to dissolve them.
But while Reardon is no longer in charge of the last remaining, active and registered company he founded, called Ultimate Property Holdings LLC, he did not dissolve it. Instead, his father, Arthur Reardon, took control as manager.
While Arthur Reardon has remained the company’s authority on official paperwork, three tenants and a carpenter who worked for Nathan Reardon described how Nathan Reardon is the one handling the day-to-day work of being a landlord and managing rental properties.
Nathan Reardon is not allowed to be self-employed and “shall be continuously employed for compensation by a disinterested third party,” according to his conditions of supervised release. A disinterested third party is someone who is not related by blood or marriage, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Resource Manual.
Nathan Reardon did not respond to a phone call or text message seeking an interview.
Arthur Reardon said he couldn’t “talk about any of that,” before the call disconnected.
The BDN spoke to three people who signed leases with Ultimate Property Holdings for apartments in Howland and Dexter but who had been asked in May — prior to Nathan Reardon’s release from federal custody — to only communicate with Nathan Reardon about the day-to-day management of their homes, according to their text messages. It means Nathan Reardon is once again participating in the work of a company that a judge ordered him to dissolve.
The three tenants the BDN spoke to, but are not identifying because they feared retaliation from Reardon, described concerning living conditions and suspected code violations in their apartments managed by Ultimate Property Holdings.
One tenant in Howland physically showed a reporter his apartment where ceiling tiles were wet to the touch and browning around the edges. Some tiles were completely discolored, while others had smaller stains. A counter had separated from the wall, and there were streaks of a brown residue dripping from the ceiling down all the door frames. A damp smell clung to the air.
Another tenant in Howland shared pictures of what her bathroom looked like after the ceiling fell on top of her 3 year old, she said. She asked Nathan Reardon to fix the ceiling several times, according to their text messages.
The tenant withheld part of her rent until the issues could be fixed, but they weren’t, according to their messages. She was evicted in July. Nathan Reardon’s father, Arthur Reardon, signed the eviction notice, but a picture of it was texted to the tenant by Nathan Reardon.
She and a tenant in Dexter provided copies of their leases, which showed that Arthur Reardon also signed the agreements as a landlord representing Ultimate Property Holdings.
While tax records show Ultimate Property Holdings does not own any physical apartment buildings, the company acts as a property management firm — collecting rents, signing leases, managing the properties and filing eviction complaints in court.
Nathan Reardon founded the company in 2020, according to public business filings, and he was the manager until July 7, after a reporter inquired with the company why it still existed despite a court order to dissolve.
That same day, Arthur Reardon took control of the company, according to business records filed in Florida where the company was first incorporated.
The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office for the District of Maine did not respond to a voicemail asking if Nathan Reardon was abiding by the terms of his conditions of release from prison.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maine, which prosecuted Reardon’s fraud case, declined to talk about whether it was looking into whether Reardon was abiding by the terms of his probation.
The two Howland tenants both said they reported their concerns about their living conditions to Howland’s code enforcement officer.
Howland officials have received since January at least half a dozen complaints about conditions inside the apartment building, ranging from water leaking through the roof and flooding units, mold as a result of the water damage, and no heat, Howland Town Manager David Lloyd said.
“There have been a lot of calls and concern,” he said.
Both Howland tenants were in regular communication with Heather Reardon and Arthur Reardon about the issues in their apartments until they both received a text at the end of May from a man who identified himself as Nathan, they said. The phone number Nathan Reardon texted the tenants from was the same number the BDN has used to talk to him in the past.
“Greetings everyone, my name is Nathan and I am taking back over the apartments full-time now,” the text message said.
The message continued, with Nathan Reardon further emphasizing that he was the one in charge of the apartments.
“Please remember that I am the only one handling any issues with this apartment from now on so feel free to contact me directly with any issues we need to address,” he said in the message.
One of the Howland tenants said she didn’t feel comfortable communicating with Nathan as she knew he was a convicted felon, and he was not the person named on her lease.
Instead, she continued reaching out to Heather Reardon who was also not listed on the lease but collected her rent every month, the tenant said.
That’s when she got a new text message.
“This is a reminder that no one else is to be messaged about leaks or any other issues,” Reardon said in the message. “I am taking care of everything from now on.”
The Dexter tenant showed the BDN his text messages with Nathan Reardon describing how he was paying more than he should on his electric bill each month because common space lighting and other electrical services were hooked up to the tenant’s breaker and meter despite his lease stating the landlord was responsible for those costs.
Soon after the tenant told Nathan Reardon he didn’t want him entering his apartment when he wasn’t there, a notice to vacate the premises was posted on his door, signed by Arthur Reardon.
At one point in a text message, the tenant told Nathan Reardon he was not supposed to be working for his father and was supposed to have dissolved his companies.
“The businesses were all dissolved. I appreciate you reading the paper and all their lies though,” Reardon replied.
As of Wednesday, no one had dissolved Ultimate Property Holdings, however. It is still a registered company in both Maine and Florida, according to business records filed in both states. The Florida Department of State, which oversees business and corporation filings, lists the company as “active.”
The lease agreements that Howland and Dexter tenants shared with the BDN showed that Ultimate Property Holdings was their listed landlord. However, in at least Dexter, the tenant was asked to pay his rent through CashApp to a separate company called Skyline Properties LLC, he said.
A carpenter for Nathan Reardon also worked under the company Skyline Properties, according to the job posting he applied for and text messages between Reardon and the now-former employee.
Their messages show Nathan Reardon told the man where he would be working on any given day, the tasks he needed to complete and what tools to bring.
“Bring a saw that can cut a banister as well. Probably 4×4,” one message from Nathan Reardon to the employee said.
After two weeks Reardon fired the man for supposedly not completing the work to Reardon’s satisfaction. (The carpenter said his work was high quality.) The man was not paid for some of his work and is still trying to recoup payment, according to text messages between the two.
Reardon was the first Mainer charged with illegally receiving a federal loan intended to help small businesses survive the early days of the pandemic. He pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud for obtaining a $60,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan in 2020 by falsifying information about payroll for his business in July 2022.
U.S. District Judge Lance Walker sentenced Reardon to 20 months in federal prison on Nov. 3, 2022. He was released early.
Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. He may be reached at email@example.com.