Saskatchewan

Lloydminster business owner frustrated naturopathic 'con man' hasn't repaid loans

A business owner in Lloydminster, Sask. says he is frustrated that a convicted naturopathic fraudster, to whom he lent money, continues to scam other families and businesses.

Jason Ankney confronted Chomicki on his driveway

A breach of probation charge against Bill Chomicki was dropped Oct. 6 when the crown decided there was no likelihood of conviction due to a loophole related to the probation order. (CBC)

A business owner in Lloydminster, Sask. says he is frustrated that a convicted naturopathic fraudster, to whom he lent money, continues to scam other families and businesses. 

In July 2013, Bill Chomicki stopped by Tanson Salt Therapy, an alternative healthcare business owned by Jason Ankney and his wife.

Chomicki allegedly told the Ankneys he was planning to build a European health centre in Lloydminster and he proposed a partnership with them.

"We just thought what a great fit - if he's willing to help us," said Ankey. "He did take advantage of that." 

Many desperate people, including Jason Ankney (left), Tim Yewchyn (centre) and Tanys Ankney (right), are attempting to get their money back from Chomicki, but haven't had any luck. (CBC)
The Ankneys said Chomicki asked to borrow $1,500 dollars, which he said would enable him to have funds from Senegal released into his bank account. That money would be used to fund his new health care facility. 

They said Chomicki promised to pay them back in three days, but more than two years later they're still waiting.

"To somebody who's starting out, that was a huge amount of money. That was our advertising… that was part of our rent," said Ankney. 

When they called him back the following week, "He said well, there's been a glitch. There's been a glitch. A bit of a hiccup - I need $300 more," said Ankney.

So, they paid the money, hoping it meant they'd see the rest of it sooner than later, but that never happened.

Ankney confronts Chomicki

Jason Ankney says Chomicki promised to pay him and his wife back in three days, but more than two years later they’re still waiting. (CBC)
In May of this year, they called Chomicki and demanded repayment while sitting in their car on Chomicki's driveway. The Ankney's recorded that call. 

In response to their demand Chomicki said, "Go home and be at peace, okay? It'll be paid by next week. Before the end of next week you'll have the money and that'll be the end of story." But the money never did arrive. 

The Ankneys filed a complaint with the RCMP who told them it is a civil matter that should be resolved in court. 

According to the their lawyers, a civil suit would likely not succeed, so they never pursued it.

The Ankney's said they're very frustrated that they are the victims of an apparent fraud, yet the justice system won't help. 

"It's embarrassing for the authorities," Ankney said. "The justice system has totally failed everyone on here."

Business owners follow Chomicki's court cases

Tim Yewchyn says Bill Chomicki continued to ask him for money after the 80-year-old got out of jail for a fraud conviction. (CBC)
Chomicki spent a month in jail in 2014 for fraud after he took money from a dying woman in exchange for cancer treatment which was never delivered. He was also put on probation for two years and told not to solicit funds door to door. 

After his release, Chomicki was accused of breaching his probation when he allegedly returned to soliciting money for his cancer treatment centre.

Lloydminster business man Tim Yewchyn had loaned Chomicki $4,500 dollars prior to his conviction. But he was once again approached by Chomicki when the 80-year-old man was released from jail. 

"I have 20 emails from Bill Chomicki asking me for more money," Yewchyn said. 

He went to police, which prompted the breach of probation charge.

But on Oct. 6, the crown dropped the charge, because the terms of probation forbade door to door solicitation, not solicitation by email.

The Ankney's have been attending Chomicki's court appearances, hoping some form of justice would prevail, even if it wasn't in relation to their specific situation.

The Ankney's feel defeated, citing the decision to drop the charge as another example of how the justice system is failing Chomicki's alleged victims.

Chomicki is also appealing his fraud conviction. 

He refused to do an interview for this story, but he told CBC's iTeam he would "disclose everything that you want to know in total and in detail," after his appeal has made its way through the courts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geoff Leo

Senior Investigative Journalist

Geoff Leo is a Michener Award nominated investigative journalist and a Canadian Screen Award winning documentary producer and director. He has been covering Saskatchewan stories since 2001.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now