Manitoba Gambling Addict Sentenced to 27 Months for Fraud
Some careers are just mundane office jobs, obligating the employee
to stare at a computer screen all day, interacting with spread
sheets, sales orders and invoices. Others require a more personal
touch, dealing directly with customers. These are jobs in which an
employee’s personality plays an enormous role in their performance
and success. For 27 year old Mitchell Sumka, it bought him a lot more
time to deceive his employers, his customers, and even his
Mitchel Sumka was a financial advisor for TD Bank in Manitoba.
Some of his occupation’s many obligations were to help new customers
open accounts and grant loans to those with a worthy credit score. He
was such an intelligent and likable guy, that no one even realized he
was stealing money right out from under everyone’s noses – money he
constantly gambled away due to a severe and spiraling addiction.
This was just the nutshell version of the story heard by Winnipeg
Judge Robert Heinrichs before he sentenced the Manitoba man to more
than two years behind bars.
Manitoba Gambling Addict Stole $400,000
Sumka pleaded guilty to only one count of fraud, but it sure was a
big one. According to Crown prosecutor Christina Kopynsky, it went on
for several years, at that.
As the story goes, Sumka first began exploiting his position at TD
Bank in August of 2015. Over the next two years, he opened 192 bank
accounts under fictitious names, then withdrew the maximum $300 from
each account – resulting in an overdraft of each, since there was
no money in them to begin with. He also stole money directly from
customer accounts, transferring funds back from other customer
accounts to cover his tracks, thereby defrauding both employers and
The financial advisor even took advantage of his own girlfriend.
He opened an account in her name, making over 400 transfers and
withdrawals, and applying for a $20,000 loan, putting her car up as
Sumka Sentenced to 27 Months for Fraud
Mitchell Sumka was sentenced to 27 months behind bars for his
crimes. TD Bank has already paid back all of its customers who were
victimized by Sumka’s unconscionable behavior, for which the judge
ordered the defendant to repay the bank $470,000. In addition,
starting at the time of his release, he is prohibited from holding
any job where he would be required to handle money for the next five
According to his Defense Lawyer, Richard Wolson, “Mitchell has
an illness and the illness is gambling. All the money that he had has
been lost to his addiction.” Wolson told the court Sumka has
already joined Gamblers Anonymous and undergone extensive
counselling, as well as volunteering more than 100 hours of community
service with the Siloam Mission and the Bear Clan.
Judge Heinrichs took this information into account, describing
Sumka’s gambling addiction as “an endless downward spiral”. He
contrasted gambling addiction from drug addiction in the way outside
observers often fail to pick up on warning signs. In fact, all of
Sumka’s victims described him as a friendly and likable guy, and were
shocked to discover what he had been up to for more than two years,
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Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.