Former federal employee in Sask. charged with breach of trust, fraud will head to trial

Yantai Gan, a former Agronomist with the federal agriculture department, will be tried on fraud and breach of trust charges.

Yantai Gan's trial was moved from the provincial court to the Court of Queen's Bench

Judge Karl Bazin ruled at the provincial court in Swift Current that Yantai Gan, a former federal agronomist, will stand trial at the Court of Queen's Bench on breach of trust and fraud charges. (Shane Magee/CBC)

A provincial court judge in Swift Current has ruled a former federal employee will stand trial at the Court of Queen's Bench more than two years after he was arrested on breach of trust and fraud charges. 

Yantai Gan, 65, was arrested and charged in Swift Current, about 240 km west of Regina, following a 21-month investigation led by the RCMP's national security enforcement section that began in February 2018.

Judge Karl Bazin ruled on Thursday that the case will move to the Court of Queen's Bench on a future date to be determined.

The RCMP's investigation led to charges of breach of trust by a public officer, fraud over $5,000 and possession of the proceeds of crime over $5,000.

Court documents say Gan allegedly entered into unauthorized, contractual relationships with the Gansu Agricultural University in China and Barilla America, a subsidiary of Italy's largest food producer. 

The national security team which headed the investigation typically deals with espionage, sabotage, threatening acts, or releasing classified information, according to an RCMP webpage.

On Nov. 19, 2019, RCMP searched an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada facility in Swift Current as well as a home in the city. 

Gan was arrested and charged the same day, while still federally employed as an agronomist at the Swift Current Research and Development Centre

In an email, the federal agriculture department said Gan began working with the federal agriculture department in February 1999. He is no longer an employee. 

With files from The Canadian Press and Kelly Provost