A Hull resident said it was like watching an old TV episode of “S.W.A.T.” as nearly a dozen law enforcement vehicles converged on a condominium home located on Rockland Circle on March 5 just before 6 a.m.
Using a pair of binoculars, the neighbor then watched numerous, heavily armed officers leap out of the unmarked vehicles and run over to the front door.
Then, in one swift, “fluid” motion, the officers forced the door open with a battering ram and hustled inside, the resident said.
“I was drinking my coffee. I thought it was a COVID birthday party. Everybody jumped out in bulletproof gear. I sat there with my mouth open,” said the neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous.
“Well, I finished my coffee and kind of shook my head. At first, I thought it had something to do with the [U.S.] Capitol,” the resident said.
Minutes later a disheveled Shane Spierdowis, 30, wearing jogging shorts, was led out of the house and was arrested on a federal fraud charge arising from more than $200,000 in bogus CARES Act small business loans.
“It was really quite horrifying. If he had resisted … my God,” another resident said, asking to remain unnamed.
Spierdowis was arraigned March 5 in U.S. District Court in Boston on one criminal count of wire fraud.
According to authorities, he used false Social Security numbers and fraudulent documents to apply for federal Small Business Administration (SBA) loans issued in connection with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Authorities say he obtained an SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of $101,517, on behalf of a limited liability company (LLC), and then had the money wired to a bank in Massachusetts. He also allegedly used a fraudulent bank statement “reflecting a balance exceeding $220,000.”
“In fact, this statement was dated before the pertinent bank account was ever opened,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice statement.
“It is alleged that Spierdowis also obtained an SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan of $89,000 in connection with a separate LLC,” the statement added.
To obtain both loans, Spierdowis allegedly used different Social Security numbers and submitted fraudulent federal tax forms for both LLCs, both of which he signed as “president” and “reflect the payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages to LLC employees during each quarter in 2019.”
For part of 2019, Spierdowis was already in federal custody after violating his probation stemming from a conviction for conspiracy to commit securities fraud, according to the DOJ statement.
Federal court records show that he informed the court of his efforts to obtain work in early 2019 “without mentioning anything about his supposed presidency of either LLC.”
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, including three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
The law enforcement action involved agents of the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. attorney’s office, and the Hull Police Department, which provided “valuable assistance with the investigation,” the DOJ said.
“When requested, we will provide mutual aid and/or scene security for officer safety while they conduct their separate and independent investigation,” Hull Police Chief John Dunn said.
Spierdowis has no current or prior criminal cases in Hull, Dunn noted.