The relief fund was meant to help families in need.
Last year, a Toronto family was accused of funnelling millions in Ontario's COVID-19 relief funds into their own personal bank accounts. Now, they have reportedly been arrested and charged.
According to The Toronto Star, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) arrested Sanjay and Shalini Madan on Saturday, September 18, and charged both with laundering the proceeds of crime and possession of stolen property. Sanjay was also charged with two counts of fraud and two counts of breach of trust.
The charges came around after a full year's investigation orchestrated by seven detectives on the OPP's anti-rackets squad.
Sanjay was the Ministry of Education's information technology leader on the government's Support for Families program (SFFP), while Shalini worked as a Ministry of Government and Consumer Services computer manager, according to the Star.
They allegedly stole $11 million of the over $300 million in funding the SFFP sent to families all over the province during the pandemic. In November 2020, The Star reported that a large chunk of that money was sent and divided to over 400 Bank of Montreal accounts, which were all opened "in the names of the Madan respondents."
Then, in January this year, the province accused Sanjay of alleged fraud of over $30 million.
According to the Star, the province has alleged that "some or all of" the Madans and their associate, Vidhan Singh, funnelled thousands to millions of dollars into the Bank of Montreal, TD, Royal Bank of Canada, Tangerine, and India's ICICI accounts last spring. Neither Singh, nor the Madans' sons, Chinmaya and Ujjawal, were charged. The latter two also worked in the government's IT department and have been in civil court since last fall.
Both Sanjay and Shalini Madan were fired from their jobs in November and last fall, respectively. Earlier in August 2020, they were previously suspended with pay and their assets were frozen.
Narcity reached out to the OPP for confirmation on the charges and did not hear back before the time of publication.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.