NEWBURYPORT — A former Newburyport resident and business owner is in hot water with the government and some of her former clients.
A story in the Boston Globe Monday reported that former Boardman Street resident Patricia Lindau's accounting company, Northeast Abacus Inc., had handled payroll for many area small business owners for the past three decades.
But according to the Globe, Lindau disappeared along with her website in May, leaving her clients owing back taxes to the state and the Internal Revenue Service.
Lindau and her husband Kjell Morgan Lindau listed $1.3 million worth of debt to their 20 biggest creditors when they filed for bankruptcy in Maine on June 20. Just how much their clients owe is unknown but Lindau is estimated to owe between $1 million and $10 million to all of her roughly 60 creditors according to court documents.
Lindau and her husband listed 27-29 Boardman St. as their company's principal address in court documents which also indicate that 29 Boardman St. was sold to Leary Chase Construction LLC for $500,000 in 2014.
According to court records, Lindau now lives in Bangor, Maine and has also maintained an address in Eastport. Calls could not be completed to either of Northeast Abacus Inc.'s most recent telephone numbers in Bangor or Newburyport on Monday.
Lindau’s attorney said in court documents the couple intend to liquidate their assets including a home in Newburgh, Maine, in an effort to pay off the creditors within the next three to five years.
Carrie Kimball, director of communication in Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's office, said the situation is under investigation but did not elaborate.
John Damroth, the owner of Planet Records in Cambridge who had done business with Northeast Abacus Inc. for three decades, said Monday he would be happy to be involved with any potential legal action against the company.
"I'm not sure if it will be worth my money to get a lawyer to do it," Damroth said. "I would prefer to hop onboard a state or a federal effort or I could give them my information and let them do the legal assault, as it were."
George Lambos is the owner of Fresco's Roast Beef & Seafood which he opened in Malden in 2016. He estimated he owes about $130,000 to the IRS and the state in back taxes and payments, which Lindau had not paid but didn't inform him about.
"That's a good chunk of change," Lambos said. "I just hope that the IRS is going to be able to sort of forgive some of this, due to the number of people that they have done this to and the circumstances. I understand that we hired a third-party contractor to do our payroll for us and nobody asked us to do that. But they failed to meet their obligations."
Lambos also said he is hiring a lawyer and intends to take legal action against Lindau.
Damroth said that his record and CD shop has weathered many changes over the past 30 years and his history with Northeast Abacus Inc. goes back to "the days long before the internet."
"We go all the way back to records and cassettes and CDs, and streaming, the list goes on and on," Damroth said. "Now I am on the phone everyday with the accounting people and the IRS to basically get back to square one. I imagine all of us affected are going to have to fork over time and money to resurrect all of those figures."
Damroth said his small business is just reopening its doors after being closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will now have to face another challenge with its books.
"With the amount of money involved, they are going to have a tough time paying anybody back, other than the bank," Damroth said. "But that leaves us trying to find justice."
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.