ONTARIO — Following a plea hearing on Wednesday, A Payette man will be serving two years of probation while paying back money that was fraudulently taken in relation to the closing of the Fit City Ontario and Vale locations in 2018.
During a plea hearing on Wednesday, Casey Bonner, who was born in 1972, pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle and one count of failure to appear in the first degree (both felonies).
Bonner’s felony charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of failure to appear in the first degree were dismissed.
According to Malheur County District Attorney David Goldthorpe, Bonner was sentenced to two years of supervised probation, during which he will be required to pay restitution to the victims of the Fit City financial activity that was reported. Goldthorpe said that if Bonner fails to pay that restitution, he will be incarcerated.
Bonner was previously the owner of Fit City 24 in Ontario and the Fit City Vale location. The Ontario gym closed in May of 2018 abruptly after the business was evicted by the owner of the building. The Vale location would close that June. Both locations have since reopened as gyms under different ownership.
After the shuttering of the Ontario space, several reports of fraud were filed, some members claiming they were double-charged for their membership one day before the Ontario closure.
According to the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, who lead the investigation on the case, about 131 victims throughout the area, including those residing in Ontario, Nyssa, Vale, Fruitland and Payette.
Bonner was arrested on April 6, 2019, in Payette for a minor traffic violation, when it was ultimately discovered that he had 13.45 pounds of marijuana in his truck as well as equipment that looked like it would be used for extracting oils from the plant material.
While he originally entered a not guilty plea to two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school, he entered a guilty plea on the two counts on Aug. 16, 2019.
Bonner’s sentencing for his Payette County case is scheduled for Feb. 21.