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A Third Person is Charged in Alleged $11M COVID-19 Fraud

After a year-long investigation, Ontario Provincial Police have charged a third person, Vidhan Singh, 54, of Toronto, in connection with the alleged theft of $11 million in provincial COVID-19 relief aid. Singh was charged with money laundering, fraud, and possession of stolen property.

Singh’s arrest followed charges laid against a married Toronto couple. The couple was fired last year as computer managers at Queen’s Park due transmitting COVID-19 relief cash to numerous bank accounts. The couple ran the ‘Support for Families’ program which has since been expanded and renamed the Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit. It now pays out $400 for each child or youth up to Grade 12 and $500 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs.

The province alleges that “some or all of” the couple and Singh funnelled millions to thousands to TD, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Tangerine, and India’s ICICI accounts in spring 2020. The province’s allegations against the charged have not been proven in civil court or criminal.

The couple,  Sanjay Madan and Shalini Madan was charged with two counts of fraud, two counts of breach of trust, laundering the proceeds of crime and possession of stolen property.

Queen’s Park court injunction freezing $28 million in Madan family assets in Canada and India. The freezing order includes $12.4 million in Indian bank accounts, an $8 million Waterloo apartment complex, a house in North York valued at $2.57 million, and six Toronto condominiums valued at about $3 million.

For information on why the court denies the crowns proposal to “refreeze” assets of this couple, click here.

The government alleges Sanjay Madan was the ringleader of a scheme that allegedly stole $30 million over the decade preceding the pandemic and that Vidhan Singh was his associate.

The crown lawyer “alleged Sanjay Madan and Vidhan Singh ran a consulting business that hired computer contractors and paid “secret commissions” to preferred vendors.

The couple and Singh are out on bail and will next appear in criminal court in November. This article was originally sourced by The Record.