ROCKLAND — A former Rockport resident accused of defrauding a woman out of at least $3 million through a series of limited liability companies he created is denying all the allegations.

Mark X. Haley II

The attorney for Mark X. Haley II filed Dec. 28 an answer in the Knox County court to a lawsuit filed in October against his client.

The case was sealed after it had been filed at the request of the attorney for Rachel Klotz of Rockport who said she was defrauded by Haley. The Courier-Gazette had obtained a copy of the lawsuit in October prior to the order to seal was issued and published an article on Oct. 31, detailing the allegations.

Attorney Walter McKee of Augusta, who represents Haley, had asked the court on Dec. 2 to unseal the lawsuit, saying it was difficult to defend against the allegations without seeing the documentation filed with the court. The lawsuit was served on Haley on Dec. 14 at an address in South Thomaston.

Justice Daniel Billings ruled in his Oct. 28 decision in the Knox County court that the Rockport woman was more likely than not to obtain a judgment against Haley and his LLCs. In addition, Justice Billings approved the attachment without notice to Haley, noting that there was a clear danger that if Haley was notified in advance of the request for an attachment, he would try to conceal or remove assets.

The seal order was lifted Jan. 18 after attorney Christopher MacLean, who represents the woman, said all the financial institutions had been served the attachment notice issued by the court.

The lawsuit was filed Oct. 21 on behalf of the Rockport woman against Haley and the LLCs he created (Burntcoat Capital, Boyaca Trading Company, MHRK Investments, Burntcoat – Flybridg, Burntcoat -Highbyte, Burntcoat – Kinotek, GME Holdco, Bellamy Eagle, Burntcoat Simpletrade, Eastern Investment Advisors, Honduras Imports, J 100 X, One7Seven Productions, Dashii Foods, Xavier Food Groups and Secure Capital Management).

Haley was vice chair of the Rockport Planning Board but resigned that post after the lawsuit was filed. He also resigned from the Board of Directors of the Maine Ocean School Foundation in Searsport of which he was the chair. He also served on the board of United Midcoast Charities from December 2021 until late summer 2022, resigning before the lawsuit was filed.

Messages were left with Haley by The Courier-Gazette in October. He did not respond to the requests for comments.

Answers to the allegations were filed in court by his attorney, denying all the claims.

His biography when he joined the UMC Board in December 2021 stated Haley was the “founder of Burntcoat Capital, a private investment fund focused on socially and environmentally responsible opportunities. His passions are surfing, sailing, fishing and aquaculture. He has family roots in Maine, having spent summers on Swan’s Island.”

His biography on the Maine Ocean School Foundation states he has experience is in finance, private equity and real estate investments. “He is also an entrepreneur. Mark currently sits on the board of several portfolio companies and nonprofits,” the Foundation’s website states. The Foundation raises money for the not-for-profit charter school in Searsport.

The lawsuit alleges that Haley and the woman met in Maine in 2019 and formed a romantic relationship. Over the course of the next three years, Haley induced the woman, through fraudulent misrepresentations, to transfer large amounts of money — totaling $1.1 million — to him on the claim that he could get better returns on her investments, according to the lawsuit. The woman also loaned $500,000 to Haley after he promised to repay her in three days with what he said would be from proceeds of a Small Business Administration loan that he was set to receive, according to the lawsuit. The loan was never repaid, according to the lawsuit.

She also purchased a $100,000 Land Rover Defender, which he possesses and has not returned to her, according to the lawsuit.

The two jointly own a home in Rockport. She paid half down for the house and he promised to pay the other half but was unable to get a loan, according to the lawsuit.

The woman learned of the potential fraud in August 2022 when Internal Revenue Service agents went to her home and advised her that Haley was being investigated for Paycheck Protection Program fraud, the lawsuit states. Haley had listed the woman and her family members as employees of the limited liability companies in order to get the $1.2 million in federal aid, according to the lawsuit. The woman and her family were never employees of these LLCs that he created in Delaware, according to the lawsuit.

A review of the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program website by the newspaper shows seven of the LLCs listed in the lawsuit as having received PPP loans. The companies all have an address of the home that he and the woman jointly own on Mill Street.

One of the companies claims to be a soft drink manufacturer with seven employees, another is a fresh fruit and vegetable wholesaler with eight employees, and others are investment advisers with seven to nine employees. The loans were received in February and March 2021, according to the federal website.

Haley wrote an apology letter to the woman, according to the lawsuit, and she ended their relationship.

Haley, however, has not repaid her any of the money he claims to have invested, according to the lawsuit. The $3 million figure includes the money he supposedly invested for her, the $500,000 loan, the vehicle, as well as loss of investment income she would have received, half the equity in the property and capital gain taxes she has incurred. She is also seeking punitive damages against Haley.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in October it was unable to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation. That is the standard response by federal prosecutors unless a criminal complaint has been filed or indictment issued.

No criminal charges have been filed.

The response filed in court by McKee on behalf of Haley states that the woman was aware of all the transactions he was making. The response also contends the woman was aware of the risks of the financial transactions.

The response filed on behalf of Haley also contends that the woman “engaged in false and fraudulent actions with respect to statements and promises” to him. The response does not detail those claims.

Haley wants compensation for his portion of the home they jointly own.

Damages that the woman experienced were “caused by intervening events and not because of the defendant,” the response states.