Gambling Addict Steals $400,000 from Bank Customers to Pay Debts

  • Money was stolen from TD Bank in the Canadian province of Manitoba
  • Former financial advisor claims he stole the money to pay gambling debts
  • Several methods were used to cheat the bank, including the creation of fake accounts
Businessman pulling back his shirt to reveal hidden money.
A former financial advisor with TD Bank has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for stealing money from customer accounts to pay his gambling debts. [Image: Shutterstock]

Guilty of fraud

Mitchell Sumka, a former financial advisor with TD Bank in the Canadian province of Manitoba, has been sentenced to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of fraud.

The court heard how Sumka used his position within the bank to steal over $400,000 from customer accounts. After TD Bank launched an investigation, Sumka admitted that he had stolen the money to pay gambling debts.

Cheating the bank

Sumka began stealing funds from the bank in August 2015. He devised several schemes to cheat the bank and its customers out of funds over a two-and-a-half-year period.

used the account to make more than 400 fake transfers and withdrawals

He used fake profiles and forged documents to create 192 bank accounts. These accounts were then drained of their $300 overdraft.

Sumka also opened a bank account in his former girlfriend’s name. He then used the account to make more than 400 fake transfers and withdrawals. His girlfriend’s personal details were also used to apply for a $20,000 loan for a car that she was already the owner of.

With customer funds, Sumka was able to steal a total of $400,000 from multiple accounts. The missing funds were replaced with money from other accounts in a bid to avoid being caught.

The investigation

An internal investigation was launched by the bank, resulting in Sumka being interviewed in February 2018. He told investigators that he paid off gambling debts with the stolen money. Victims of Sumka said he was friendly and spoke of their surprise at discovering he had been stealing.

Speaking on behalf of his client, defense lawyer Richard Wolson commented on Sumka’s gambling addiction.

Mitchell has an illness and the illness is gambling. All the money that he had has been lost to his addiction.”

After his arrest, Sumka joined Gamblers Anonymous and received counseling. TD Bank reimbursed customers. Sumka must now pay $470,000 in restitution.

More TD Bank fraud

This is not the only recent case of fraud involving TD Bank. Officials discovered that Jennifer Yvonne Thompson defrauded the bank of $195,000, convicting her of seven criminal charges. The 29-year-old mother-of-one used five TD Visa cards to steal the funds.

Thompson reportedly received the five credit cards from an unknown man who claimed to be the primary holder of a Visa account. The man added Thompson as secondary user on his account.

To beat the system, each card used a variation of Thompson’s name. With this method, the individuals bypassed fraud detection software used by the bank. Thompson then maxed out the cards by obtaining cash at casinos, via currency exchanges and ATMs.  

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