ABBOTSFORD Constable Ravinder (Rob) Thandi, 46, pleaded guilty to defrauding Pacific Blue Cross and the Medical Services Plan of $2,500 and was sentenced on Monday by Provincial Court Judge Gregory Brown to a conditional discharge and one year of probation. Brown made it clear that even when a police officer is off duty, the public expects him to conduct himself with honesty and integrity.
But referring to Thandi’s early guilty plea, his cooperation with police, his mental health issues, the fallout from the fraud and letters of support, Brown said that it appeared to him that the event was “completely out of character” for Thandi.
Thandi, who had started a serious relationship with a woman in 2011, suggested that she and her son move in with him so that he could extend his health benefits to them. Even though they did not do so, Thandi added them to his benefits in January 2013, informing the medical insurance providers that they had been living together for a year.
However, a year later, Thandi and the woman separated and he asked the providers to have her removed from the benefits. The woman reported the fraud to the police department a short time later and an investigation began.
His defence lawyer told the court that from Thandi’s perspective, his actions were to solidify what he saw as very good relationship with the woman. David Silverman said Thandi had suffered financial, personal and professional consequences because of a very ill-advised idea.
Thandi’s probation includes completion of 75 hours of community service. He will avoid a criminal record if he completes his probation conditions.
Thandi, who is still under suspension, will have to wait for a decision by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner on whether he can return as a police officer or what disciplinary action can be taken against him.