Former Ontario bureaucrats charged in alleged $11M COVID-19 fraud are headed back to court

The Ontario bureaucrats fired after the alleged theft of $11 million in provincial COVID-19 relief funds are headed back to court this week as criminal proceedings continue.

Sanjay and Shalini Madan, a married Toronto couple terminated from the public service in 2020 after the alleged fraud, will be in long trial assignment court on Wednesday.

They were charged last September by the Ontario Provincial Police, but their criminal trial might not begin in earnest until September 2023.

Police charged Sanjay Madan with two counts of fraud and two counts of breach of trust. He and Shalini Madan were also charged with laundering the proceeds of crime and possession of stolen property.

Two other men have also been charged in the case.

Toronto’s Vidhan Singh was charged with money laundering, fraud and possession of stolen property. Manish Gambhir of Brampton was charged with possession of stolen property and possession of an identity document related — or purported to relate — to another person.

Chris Sewrattan, Sanjay Madan’s defence lawyer, declined to comment Monday.

In separate Ontario Superior Court filings, the province alleges that “some or all of” the Madans, their adult sons, Chinmaya and Ujjawal, and Singh, funneled millions to thousands of TD, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Tangerine, and India’s ICICI bank accounts in spring 2020.

Chinmaya and Ujjawal do not face any criminal charges, but the parallel civil court case is ongoing.

The province’s allegations against the Madans and Singh have not been proven in civil court.

The criminal charges have also not been proven in court.

Sanjay Madan was fired in November 2020 from a $176,608-a-year job as the Ministry of Education’s information technology leader on the Support for Families program.

That pandemic fund — later enriched and renamed the Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit before being wound down a year ago — gave parents $200 per child under age 12 and $250 per child and youth under 21 with special needs to offset online educational expenses.

In civil court testimony, which may not be used against him in the criminal action if it violates his charter-protected rights against self-incrimination, Sanjay Madan…