Tories underneath fireplace after ex-bureaucrat admits stealing $47.4M

Tories underneath fireplace after ex-bureaucrat admits stealing .4M

Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives are underneath fireplace after former provincial bureaucrat Sanjay Madan was capable of steal $47.4 million in taxpayers’ cash.

NDP Chief Marit Stiles is demanding to know the way Madan may dupe the Tories and the earlier Liberal authorities between 2011 and 2020.

“The place was the federal government — each the Liberals and the Conservatives — when (virtually) $50 million of presidency funding went out the door?” Stiles thundered Wednesday.

Her feedback got here the day after Madan pleaded responsible to stealing $47.4 million from Queen’s Park — together with $10.8 million in pandemic reduction funds — and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The one-time Ministry of Training data know-how chief was terminated in October 2020.

Madan admitted to “stress-free” safety protocols on the Help for Households program, which gave dad and mom or guardians $200 per little one underneath age 12, and $250 per little one as much as 21 with particular wants, for on-line instructional bills early within the COVID-19 pandemic.

That enabled him to funnel hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to hundreds of TD, Financial institution of Montreal, Royal Financial institution of Canada, Tangerine and India’s ICICI accounts.

However Madan additionally confessed to stealing one other $36.6 million as a part of a posh “fee-for-service” laptop advisor rip-off relationship again to January 2011.

He and an affiliate used actual and faux firms to subcontract IT work.

Understanding the federal government paid about $900 per day to laptop consultants, Madan subcontracted staff at a each day fee of $400 to $500 and pocketed the distinction.

That profitable fraud — undetected by successive Tory and Liberal governments in addition to auditor basic Bonnie Lysyk — introduced in proceeds of as a lot as $6.6 million a 12 months for almost a decade.

“How did this authorities fail to spot $47.4 million going out the door?” mentioned Stiles, chiding the Progressive Conservatives within the legislature’s each day query interval.

“This particular person was capable of siphon hundreds of thousands of {dollars} out of public coffers with nobody on that aspect noticing. It’s very regarding, to say the least,” she mentioned.

Solicitor Common Michael Kerzner countered that “the previous worker in query pleaded responsible to breach of belief, fraud and cash laundering, that are all Legal Code offences.”

“The OPP will proceed to analyze and implement any acts which violate the Legal Code. We anticipate everybody who works for the federal government of Ontario to uphold the best normal {of professional} ethics,” mentioned Kerzner.

“We’ll settle for nothing much less,” he mentioned.

Authorities home chief Paul Calandra famous “nearly all of the funds have been recovered.”

“The actual fact the person was recognized by the police and has pled responsible it appears to be fairly apparent that we did discover out who it was and what they had been doing,” he mentioned.

Calandra defended the haste with which the Help for Households funds went out early within the pandemic.

“After all we had a fund … as a result of except the opposition had Nostradamus engaged on their aspect, none of us knew what COVID-19 was going to throw at us, proper?” he mentioned.

“We had to have the ability to reply rapidly and we did.”

Within the type of forfeited properties — together with a $20-million house advanced in Waterloo — and money, Madan has repaid a lot of what he stole.

However he’ll nonetheless should pay again a further $13.1 million inside 5 years of his launch from jail.

Madan’s affiliate, Vidhan Singh, charged with cash laundering, fraud and possession of stolen property, is being tried individually, as is Manish Gambhir, charged with possession of stolen property and possession of an id doc associated — or presupposed to relate — to a different particular person.

These instances are nonetheless continuing.

There’s additionally an ongoing civil trial centered on Madan and Singh, during which the province alleges as a lot as $75 million could have been stolen in a “conspiracy” involving 9 different individuals.

Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter masking Ontario politics. Observe him on Twitter: @robertbenzie


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are topic to the Code of Conduct. The Star
doesn’t endorse these opinions.