Court freezes 7 properties belonging to family members allegedly involved in theft of COVID-19 relief funds

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A court order blocks any sale of seven Toronto properties owned by family members believed to have been involved in the theft of $ 11 million in COVID-19 relief funds, the Star has learned.

Six condominiums and a seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom home in North York are now subject to a court-ordered “no-deal-on-title flag”, meaning they cannot be sold or sold. that ownership is transferred.

As the Star first revealed, the Ontario government alleges that “some or all” of Sanjay Madan, Shalini Madan, their sons Chinmaya Madan and Ujjawal Madan, and business partner Vidhan Singh committed “Massive fraud” aimed at channeling pandemic money into hundreds of banks. accounts.

Documents filed with Ontario Superior Court allege “damages for fraud, theft, conversion and conspiracy estimated at least $ 11 million”, which were filed in accounts at TD and the Bank of Montreal.

This money was part of the $ 300 million family support program that paid parents $ 200 for each child under 12 and $ 250 for each child with special needs up to age 21. It was designed to help with home learning during the pandemic.

The Madans all worked as computer scientists for the Ontario government.

Seven detectives from the OPP Anti-Racketeering Branch are investigating, but no criminal charges have been laid.

The allegations in the government’s statement have not been proven in court.

“This court orders that the defendants (…) not be authorized to sell, withdraw, dissipate, alienate, transfer, assign, encumber or treat in a similar manner the property of the defendants, wherever they are in Ontario, by any means whether, directly or indirectly. the injunction states.

The order will remain in effect until a judge decides it can be lifted.

Among the properties affected is a Kingsdale Avenue home the Madans bought in August 2011 for $ 1.64 million.

Three condos at 44 St. Joseph St., two units at 62 Wellesley St. W. and a 1,453 square foot penthouse at 5785 Yonge St. which were purchased for $ 505,000 by Chinmaya Madan are also the subject of non-negotiation orders. in October 2018.

Chinmaya Madan, who now works at Microsoft in Seattle, also purchased one of the Saint-Joseph units in February 2016, paying $ 580,000 for the 889 square foot condo.

Ownership records show that one of the Wellesley units was purchased for $ 616,000 in July 2015 by Ujjawal Madan, currently a master’s student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Five of the six condos are steps from Queen’s Park.

The proceeds from the sale of a four-bedroom, four-bathroom North York home by Sanjay Madan in September, which posted a profit of $ 1,031,407, are also subject to the court order freezing its assets.

However, a judge granted him restricted access to $ 139,000 of that money from the sale of Deering Cres. property to pay its legal fees. This money is now held in trust by the law firm Du Vernet Stewart.

Through his lawyer, Christopher Du Vernet, Sanjay Madan did not comment on the allegations.

In the government’s action, it is alleged that he “used his in-depth knowledge” as an information technology leader on the Support for Families computer application to “lead an unauthorized rule change in order to to allow fraudulent payments ”.

“Sanjay did not deny having obtained millions of dollars to which he was not entitled, but rather provided unreasonable explanations, while also acknowledging that the money had to be returned,” the court documents say.

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Sanjay Madan was director of the Department of Education’s iAccess Solutions division before being fired for cause earlier this month. He earned $ 176,608 in 2019.

His wife, Shalini Madan, who earned $ 132,513 last year, is the director of e-ministry support at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. She was suspended with pay on August 11.

Chinmaya Madan was Technical Product Manager at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services for three years before stepping down in August.

Neither Shalini Madan nor Chinmaya Madan responded to repeated calls or emails seeking comment.

In a brief interview on Tuesday, Ujjawal Madan, who worked as a government contract employee in his father’s team, told The Star that he was aware of the allegations concerning the family.

“I cannot comment at this time. It’s not a good time, ”he said.

Their partner, Vidhan Singh, who reportedly received 170 alimony payments worth $ 42,500 to 30 new Bank of Montreal accounts opened in June, was not available for comment.

The Richmond Hill man’s attorney, Christoph Pike, said he could not comment when contacted on Friday.

Researchers are now examining past projects led by Sanjay Madan, who won IT World Canada awards for leading the $ 4 million initiative to reorganize applications for loans and grants from the Student Aid Program at the ‘Ontario.

This program provides billions of dollars each year in loans and grants to hundreds of thousands of university and college students.

Six former colleagues have contacted the Star since learning about the investigation.

Speaking confidentially for fear of reprisal, all said Sanjay Madan was very selective about which outside contractors and subcontractors he retained.

Each former colleague indicated that he almost always worked with the same contractors.

With files from the Toronto Star Library

Robert Benzie is the Bureau Chief of Star’s Queen’s Park and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie



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