Winnipeg man's Las Vegas business venture runs into controversy
Some Vegas business owners say they were advertised on The LEO App without their permission
Jeff Dyck is facing nine charges in Winnipeg, including a criminal charge of fraud over $5,000, for his role in an investment scheme related to a company called One World United.
The company tried to build a shopping loyalty rewards program. More than 300 investors allegedly lost millions of dollars.
While Dyck's trial is set for the fall, he has been busy setting up new ventures in Las Vegas. And some Sin City retailers found their businesses have been advertised in relation to Jeff Dyck's business, The LEO App Las Vegas, without their permission.
The LEO App signs customers up for open coupons from local retailers on their phones for free. Retailers sign up free of charge for a year and then pay for the service to continue.
'I didn't sign up for it,' says business owner
One business owner, Scott Zelensky, said he was surprised to find his sport therapy firm, Pro-Active Health Therapeutic Services, advertised on the LEO App's Las Vegas Facebook page after CBC News contacted him.
Zelensky said, "I always like to do a little due diligence first…. I'm careful about what I sign up for," adding that companies frequently would call him to sign up for coupon services.
"There's a lot of stuff like that that goes on here," he said. "I'm very skeptical of stuff like this. It looks like somebody grabbed my stuff off the internet,"
Zelensky posted a complaint to the Facebook page and now his business has now been taken off.
Dyck incorporated two businesses, Novosoft Solutions LLC and Local Exclusive Offers LLC, in Nevada last June, according to documents. The company's Facebook page shows numerous retailers are part of the coupon service in Las Vegas, including salon businesses, a golf course and restaurants.
No record of business licences found
County business office searches show neither of Dyck's companies have business licences in Las Vegas. Officials there told CBC News that any business providing services generally needs a licence. They wouldn't comment on the specific case.
"I think there should be a system in place to warn people about this happening, so they can't just pick up and start over somewhere else," said Aleisha Reimer, whose father, Ben Reimer, lost $28,000 after investing in One World United.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Dyck is also fundraising for "Global Child Run," an event described on his website as a marathon journey "to raise money and awareness for children in need around the world."
It is purported to start this month, would take "just over six years to complete" and "will be held in every country and colony around the world."
The run is not a registered charity, according to the Canada Revenue Agency.
Calls to Dyck and his lawyer have not been returned.