December 16, 2018
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Workers say they’re owed thousands after Maine restaurant abruptly closed

A popular Standish restaurant has shuttered, with workers saying there was no notice and the owner skipped town, and now many of those workers say they’re owed thousands in back pay.

It was once a Standish staple, but the good times didn’t last long at O.Dans Public House.

Former employees reached out to CBS 13 after they say the former owner of O.Dans abruptly shut the restaurant down back in September.

Now six months later, those former employees, as well as former contractors, say the owner, Dan Ellingwood, still owes them money.

Documents obtained by CBS 13 show a lien has been placed on Ellingwood’s company.

It says he owes a contractor more than $6,500 for installing a heating system in the restaurant.

Employees also provided CBS 13 with paychecks they say bounced and they were never compensated for.

“Towards the end he was just owing people so much money and just not paying people,” former Manager Tyler Bisson said.

The State Department of Labor says two former employees of O.Dans have filed complaints, but urged them to hire private attorneys, because they couldn’t find Dan Ellingwood.

CBS 13 did, speaking to him over phone. Ellingwood didn’t want his voice recorded, but gave a statement.

“Quite frankly we got in over our heads,” he said. “I did the best I could to get all the employees paid up, but I know we had a couple of contractors and a couple of vendors still owed money. I take full responsibility for what happened. I don’t want to push the blame (and) I don’t want anyone to not be made whole. I’m just trying to take the right steps to do that now.”

His former employees allege this isn’t the first time Ellingwood has done this.

CBS 13 found charges out of North Carolina from 2009 that show Ellingwood was found guilty of felony embezzlement and forgery charges.

“He was a good con artist, you know, he would cry a lot of real tears and be genuinely remorseful,” former business partner James Yates said.

But Ellingwood says that’s not the case

The North Carolina charges, he says, happened at a bad time in his life, but in regards to what happened in Maine, he says, “We just go in over our heads and no one was trying to con anyone.”

Dan Ellingwood says he now splits his time between Maine and Massachusetts, and says he’s now working to pay back everything he owes.

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