Gambler Steals $400,000 to Pay Debts

In Canada, Mitchell Sumka, a former financial advisor was recently sentenced to 27 months in prison for stealing money from his customer’s accounts to pay off gambling debts. The accused stole money from customer accounts held at TD Bank in the province of Manitoba, and went about doing so in some rather creative ways.

But as is the case so often, the cheater got caught and is now unemployed and incarcerated. His gambling debts got him in hot water, and if he’ been smart he would have used the self-imposed limits and never spent more than he could afford.

A Fraudulent Fiend

Sumka was hauled before the courts and pleaded guilty to a fraud charge, thus earning himself a 27 month stint behind bars. During the case, the court had heard how Sumka had abused his position within the bank and used his authority to pocket over $400,000 that belonged to TD Bank customers.

However, TD Bank had caught wind of something that just didn’t smell right, and launched their own investigation, finding that Sumka was the guilty party.

Behind the Scam

Sunka knew the bank and its systems well, and this gave him the ammunition he needed to come up with a few different schemes to get his hands on the money he needed to pay back his gambling debts.

He first started stealing in August 2015, and his crime spree went on unnoticed for nearly 3 years before he was caught out. One of his tactics was to create a fake account using forged documents and then clear out the account’s overdraft facility that was usually set at around $300. He managed to do this an incredible 192 times, or that’s how many times he has admitted to!

One of his other schemes involved opening a bank account in his ex girlfriends name and conducting fake transfers and withdrawals. He also applied for loans using his ex’s credentials and took out a loan for a car that she was already the owner of. Due to his security clearance rating in the bank he was also able to move money around in accounts so that there was no trail of suspicious activity, and nothing to link him to the crimes. Or so he thought.

By employing these, and other undisclosed methods, Sumka managed to amass at least $400,000 that he used to either gamble with or pay gambling debts.

Feeding an Addiction

During his trial it came to light that Sumka has a gambling addiction and would not have necessarily stolen the funds if this was not the case. His attorney Richard Wolson said that Sumka was ill and that his illness was gambling addiction.

He requested that his client seek treatment in lieu of a sentence, but this was not to be the case. Sumka has however received counselling from Gamblers Anonymous and must pay back $470,000 in restitution fees. TD Bank reimbursed all customers who were out of pocket, and although this hasn’t been the first time they have been hit by a fraudulent employee, they must be hoping it is the last.