Ontario bureaucrat fired in $ 11 million COVID-19 fraud investigation brought ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ to India, court documents say

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Ontario government computer scientist fired after alleged theft of $ 11 million in COVID-19 funds flew to India with “tens of thousands of dollars in cash” shortly after being confronted to the missing money, according to court documents.

Sanjay Madan, fired in November from his $ 176,608-a-year job at the Education Department, withdrew about $ 80,000 from his CIBC account in August, according to new documents filed in civil court by his attorney, Christopher Du Vernet .

In September, Madan – who has Canadian and Indian citizenship as well as permanent resident status in Panama, a tax haven that has no extradition treaty with Canada – flew to India, where he has two villas.

Government lawyers say he also “gave large wads of money to Indian relatives who were visiting Canada in September … and had them take that money back to India with them.”

“The circumstances and timing of these huge cash withdrawals and cash flows to India only lead to a reasonable inference: that Madan was shipping money overseas in order to avoid detection and its seizure, ”the province said in its brief last month.

Madan was questioned about the trip to India, during cross-examination by government lawyers who filed a civil action to recover allegedly missing funds from the family support program. The COVID-19 program gave parents $ 200 for each child up to age 12 and $ 250 for each child and youth with special needs up to age 21 to offset education expenses related to the pandemic.

“Sir. Madan admitted that he personally carried around $ 21,000 to $ 30,000 in Canadian cash to India in September 2020 and left it there with relatives. He also admitted that Indian relatives who were visiting Canada in September 2020 were bringing about $ 18,000 in cash to India with them, ”according to government documents.

A few weeks before his trip to India – while he was still suspended with pay – he insisted in tears to his colleagues in the ministry: “his wife and family have absolutely nothing to do with this,” the documents say. .

Madan was the information technology lead on the computer application of the $ 378 million family support program.

After being sacked, his wife, Shalini Madan, was fired from her $ 132,513 per year job as e-ministry support manager at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

Their adult sons, Chinmaya Madan and Ujjawal Madan, also worked in lower-level IT jobs, but left voluntarily last summer.

According to documents filed in the Ontario Superior Court, the government alleges that last spring “some or all” of Sanjay, Shalini, Chinmaya and Ujjawal Madan, and partner Vidhan Singh committed “massive fraud To channel $ 11 million in payments to hundreds of TD and Bank of Montreal accounts.

The province’s claims have not been proven in court and through their lawyers, the Madans and Singh have not commented publicly beyond Ujjawal Madan, telling the Star in November that ” ‘now is not the right time ”.

Repeated calls and emails requesting comment were not returned on Monday or Tuesday.

There are seven detectives from the OPP anti-racketeering team investigating, but no criminal charges have been laid.

Madan has his passports and is allowed to travel.

In August, when provincial authorities sought to recover laptops, tablets and cellphones from Sanjay and Chinmaya Madan, the older man became very emotional, according to internal government emails filed with the court.

“He said his family was devastated by this and because of his [redacted] he is a little slow to respond and asks for patience, ”wrote Marie Dearlove, executive assistant to Soussan Tabari, the director of information at the Ministry of Education, to the ministry’s director of human resources, Nadine Ramdial.

“He said he would cooperate fully and not interfere with the investigation. He has said over and over that his wife and family have absolutely nothing to do with it, ”Dearlove continued on August 14.

“At this point he started crying and it was hard to understand what he was saying for the next minute and then he said he had to leave the call,” she wrote.

Thirty minutes later, according to the thread, “Sanjay contacted one of his staff… stating that his family had nothing to do with this. The employee contacted the acting manager to advise him of the appeal.

Court documents indicate that Dearlove later told OPP detectives that “Sanjay got angry during the call and said, sobbing, that according to a Hindu saying, ‘if he keeps lying, his punishment. will be that his wife will die ‘, or words indeed. “

In an email from her personal Outlook account on Aug. 17, Sanjay Madan told her boss Tabari that he “mustered the courage to go into a conference call or video conference” with her the next day.

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It was a few weeks before his flight to India.

Some of his emails in the court submission are redacted for confidentiality reasons, as he appears to discuss his personal health.

According to the documents, Tabari “was overwhelmed by the appeal,” during which Sanjay Madan cried.

“She advises that Sanjay had always seemed [redacted] to her, that he had been a model employee and had worked with hundreds of people, none of whom had reported problems. She never had anything but good comments about her, ”according to court documents.

Investigators who searched his office found “an image of a permanent resident card and Republic of Panama driver’s license for Sanjay Madan on Sanjay Madan’s government email account,” court documents say. .

The two Panamanian documents were published in 2019.

During the search, investigators found two Bank of Montreal ATM deposit slips from different accounts and branches. One, from December 10, 2019 at 12:53 p.m., shows that a check for $ 25,000 was deposited, bringing the balance to $ 593,493.57.

The second, January 26, 2018 at 4:34 p.m., shows that $ 3,000 has been withdrawn, leaving that account balance at $ 122,002.

These BMO accounts are different from the CIBC account used to access funds transferred to India.

Court documents indicate that Sanjay Madan has registered a company in Panama called Newgen Ventures Inc., which owns three properties in Waterloo, including a 30-unit student apartment complex that recently put up for sale for around $ 8 million.

Records show that Sanjay Madan also purchased two villas in Hyderabad, India in 2013. The Star previously reported that he had a personal loan from an Indian bank for 97.7 million rupees (approximately 1.75 million of dollars).

The provincial government obtained an injunction freezing the family’s assets, which also include a seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom home in North York, six condominiums in Toronto and more than $ 1 million in profits from the sale in September of a building with four bedrooms. -house bathroom.

In his court documents challenging this injunction, Sanjay Madan testified that his son, Chinmaya, works from home in Toronto for Microsoft in Seattle and earns $ 130,000 to $ 140,000 (US) per year.

He said his son, Ujjawal, was doing his master’s degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, which costs $ 75,000 (US) in annual tuition plus an additional $ 25,000 (US) for living expenses.

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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