Ontario bureaucrats fired after alleged $11M COVID-19 fraud have spent $1.1M on legal defence, and now want more

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Former bureaucrats charged with the alleged theft of $11 million in the Ontario COVID-19 relief fund have spent more than $1.1 million on their legal defense – and are now seeking an additional $1.4 million.

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According to documents filed in Ontario Superior Court on Tuesday by Crown prosecutors, who seek to limit Sanjay and Shalini Madan from gaining further access to their assets.

Madan, a married Toronto couple, was fired from their job as a computer specialist in 2020 following an alleged fraud of pandemic aid at Queens Park.

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In a civil court filing, the province alleged that Madan, his adult sons Chinmay and Ujjwal, and Toronto aide Vidhan Singh had “some or all” of thousands of TD, the Bank of Montreal, the Royal Bank of Montreal in funding of millions of dollars. ICICI Bank Accounts of Canada, Tangerine and India in 2020.

Ontario Provincial Police has charged Sanjay Madan with two counts of fraud and two breaches of trust. He and Shalini Madan were also accused of legalizing proceeds of crime and possessing stolen property.

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Singh was charged with money laundering, fraud and possession of stolen property and Manish Gambhir of Brampton was charged with possessing stolen property and possessing an identity document believed to belong to – or be related to – another person.

While Chinmay and Ujjwal do not face any criminal charges, they are part of a civil action. Both have denied any wrongdoing.

None of the province’s charges have been proved in civil or criminal court.

Until his dismissal, Sanjay Madan was the technology leader at the $176,608-a-year support program for families, which gave parents $200 per child under the age of 12 and $250 per child under the age of 21. Given to youth of age with special needs for online educational expenses. ,

In civil court testimony, which cannot be used against him in a criminal case if it violates his charter-protected rights against self-incrimination, he said he “relaxed” computer security so that more Payments can go to the same bank accounts.

Sanjay Madan told the civil court in January 2021, “There were a lot of potential applications coming in because people… came to know that there were too many loopholes.”

“I thought there might be an opportunity to withdraw funds… it seemed like easy money to me.”

Shalini Madan, who was terminated from her $132,513-year IT job, has denied any involvement in the alleged theft and is suing the province for wrongful dismissal, $5 million in damages. Demanding more.

His son, who voluntarily resigned from lower-level computer jobs at Queens Park two years ago, is suing the government for $1 million, citing “psychological” damages from being named in the civil action.

A provincial government court injunction obtained in the civil case has accumulated $28 million in Madan’s assets in Canada and India.

This includes $12.4 million in cash in Indian bank accounts, an $8 million Waterloo apartment complex, a seven-bedroom home in North York worth $2.57 million, and six Toronto condominiums worth about $3 million.

According to new court documents, Madan would like to sell his North York home and a condo to raise funds for his defence.

But Crown attorney Christopher Welland alleged that the purchase of those properties may have used cash “fraudulently obtained” through an elaborate “kickback scheme” that raised an additional $30 million dating back to 2010.

Wayland argues that Sanjay Madan and Singh, who deny the allegations, operated a consulting business plan that hired government computer contractors in exchange for “secret commissions” from preferred vendors.

In its fact, the Crown Counsel said, “To date, the Court has issued Madan defendants $846,479.32 for their civil defense and $258,500 for criminal defense.”

“They now want an additional amount of more than $1.4 million for their civil and criminal defenses,” Wayland said.

“While criminal accounts estimate the cost to bring cases to their conclusion, it is premature to release funds to prepare for a trial at this stage that is not scheduled to begin until the fall of 2023,” he said.

“More importantly, both the accounts submitted by Sanjay and Shalini Madan indicate that they are currently engaged in solution discussions, which could reduce the need for testing.”

Welland argued that the North York house could be sold, but only 242,226.35 “of the equity” could be released to Madan, with the rest of the proceeds being held by the court.

A judge is expected to pronounce a verdict on the case this summer.

Madan’s lawyer, Christopher Du Vernet, has contended that the province is trying to thwart the couple’s capacity for adequate legal defence.

Du Vernet argued last summer, “the Ford government is trying to starve Madan into submission rather than fight on merit.”

Robert Benji Starr is Queens Park’s bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie

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Source: www.thestar.com

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