Third person charged with alleged $ 11 million scheme to defraud Ontario’s COVID-19 relief fund

A third person faces criminal charges in an alleged embezzlement scheme that allegedly defrauded $ 11 million in COVID-19 relief funds from the Ontario government.

Days after the arrest of two former provincial employees in connection with the alleged scheme to defraud the Family Support Program, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced that they had arrested a third person.

Vidhan Singh, 54, has been charged with fraud over $ 5,000, money laundering and possession of property obtained by crime over $ 5,000.

Sanjay Madan and his wife, Shalini Madan, were arrested in connection with the alleged scheme on September 18.

Province prosecutes accused of suspected fraud

The province sued Sanjay Madan, his wife and two adult children, alleging they illegally issued and cashed checks as part of the Support for Families program, which aimed to offset the cost of children’s learning at home. .

He also accused Madan of taking millions more in bribes in an alleged fraud worth over $ 30 million.

In an amended statement approved in January, the province alleged that Sanjay Madan received $ 10 million in secret commissions for directing government consulting contracts to certain companies he or an associate, Singh, controlled.

“In the last 10 years or more, the plaintiff has paid more than $ 25 million under the [fee for service contracts], claims the unproven claim.

The government alleges that Singh paid Madan $ 5 million in commissions, while other companies paid Madan an additional $ 5 million for government contracts.

Stephen Hebscher, lawyer for Sanjay Madan, said the Toronto resident was facing two counts of fraud over $ 5,000 and two counts of breach of trust.

Madan and his wife are also charged with laundering proceeds of crime over $ 5,000 and possession of proceeds of crime over $ 5,000.

Madan, who held a senior IT position and helped develop an IT application tied to a COVID-19 relief allowance, was laid off in November. His wife and two sons all worked for the province in the field of information technology.

The Ontario Provincial Police said it opened an investigation into the program in August 2020 after receiving a recommendation from the Ontario Ministry of Education.

“The scale and scope of this fraud were significantly more complex than those initially identified,” the OPP said in a statement.

Singh has been released and is due in court to face criminal charges on November 18.

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