Fourth Person Charged in alleged Misappropriation of Ontario COVID-19 Relief Fund

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A fourth person, 41-year-old Manish Gambhir of Brampton, Ont., is now charged in connection with alleged fraud involving Ontario COVID-19 relief funding.

Ontario Provincial Police declared that Gambhir was charged earlier this week with possession of an identity document and possession of property obtained by crime. Gambhir is released on bail and has a court date on Nov. 10.

OPP spokesman Bill Dickson clarifies that the arrest is part of the same investigation that led to the arrests of Sanjay and Shalini Madhan, as well as Vidhan Singh, in connection with the alleged scheme. For more information on this arrest, click here.

Although the crimes were discovered under the same investigation, Dickson says the Madhans, Singh and Gambhir have no “direct connection” with each other.

The Global and Mail reports the following charges:

“Singh, 54, of Toronto, is charged with fraud over $5,000, money laundering and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. He is due in court Nov. 18.

Sanjay Madan’s lawyer has said his client is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and two counts of breach of trust.

Stephen Hebscher said Madan and Shalini Madan are also charged with laundering the proceeds of crime over $5,000 and possession of the proceeds of crime over $5,000.”

The couple and two adult children, allegedly issued illegal and banked cheques under the Support for Families program, which aimed to offset the cost of children learning at home. The province is alleging embezzlement of $11 million.

In addition to the charges listed above, Sanjay Madan is accused of stealing millions in kickbacks in an alleged fraud worth more than $30 million.

Madan, his wife and two sons all worked for the province in information technology. Madan developed a computer application related to a COVID-19 relief benefit and was fired in November.

In a statement of defence for the lawsuit, Madan alleges the province had lax security that allowed “widespread misappropriation” of the COVID-19 relief funds. This article was originally sourced by The Global and Mail.