Lawyers for QuadrigaCX clients request exhumation of late founder’s remains

HALIFAX — Lawyers for clients who lost millions in the bankruptcy of the QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange have formally asked the RCMP to exhume the remains of the firm’s founder.

In a letter posted to its website Friday, Toronto-based law firm Miller Thomson LLP asks the RCMP’s Commercial Crimes Branch to conduct an autopsy on the body of Gerald Cotten to confirm both its identity and the cause of death.

The letter says there is a need for certainty around the question of whether “Mr. Cotten is in fact deceased” and it asks that the exhumation process be completed by the spring of 2020.

Cotten, who ran the exchange from his home outside of Halifax, died suddenly in December 2018 while travelling in India.

As the company’s CEO and sole director, he was the only one who had access to the so-called cold wallets that were supposed to hold his customers’ cryptocurrency.

More than 76,000 unsecured creditors, virtually all of them QuadrigaCX clients, came forward to claim they are owed $214.6 million — $74.1 million in cash and $140.5 million in cryptocurrency.

In a emailed statement, Richard Niedermayer, lawyer for Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson, said she is “heartbroken” to learn of the exhumation request.

“Gerry died on Dec. 9, 2018 in India,” the statement says.

“It is not clear how the exhumation or an autopsy to confirm the cause of Gerry’s death from complications arising from his Crohn’s disease would assist the asset recovery process further.”

In a settlement announced in October, Robertson and Cotten’s estate agreed to return about $12 million in assets to help repay users of the exchange. The assets included properties in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, a small aircraft, “luxury vehicles,” a sailboat, investments, and cash, along with gold and silver coins.

Creditor monitor Ernst and Young found in an investigation that the exchange had flawed financial reporting and that significant volumes of cryptocurrency had been transferred to personal accounts controlled by Cotten. It found losses from trading and fees in those accounts affected QuadrigaCX’s reserves, while Cotten also created fake accounts to inflate revenue figures.

In a statement released at the time of the settlement, Robertson said that she wasn’t aware of how her husband operated the business, or his appropriation of users funds.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Out-going Red Deer Food Bank director recalls two decades of providing for a basic human need

Fred Scaife experienced many uplifting moments, along with daily stress

Gathering limits make it a ‘great time to be building a pipeline:’ Alberta minister

EDMONTON — Alberta’s energy minister says it’s a good time to build… Continue reading

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

OTTAWA — Half of Canadians believe they’re not getting the whole truth… Continue reading

Scotiabank Q2 profit down from year ago as provisions for credit losses soar

TORONTO — Scotiabank reported a second-quarter profit of $1.32 billion, down sharply… Continue reading

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Political parties don’t need COVID cash

The least essential service throughout the pandemic has been politics — which… Continue reading

Whitecaps ‘keeper Maxime Crepeau dreaming about being back on the soccer pitch

It’s been 80 days since the Vancouver Whitecaps last saw action, so… Continue reading

David Marsden: Jason Kenney is all hat, no cattle

There are few character failings more unappealing than those of people who… Continue reading

Montreal Impact allowed to train individually at Centre Nutrilait

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact are giving their first-team players access to… Continue reading

Black Crowes, the Trews among artists in Budweiser Stage at Home TV concerts

TORONTO — Live Nation Canada and Budweiser are launching a weekly, one-hour… Continue reading

Sinclair records new version of unreleased Tragically Hip track ‘Get Back Again’

When Gord Sinclair got together last fall with the musicians featured on… Continue reading

Salmon expected to begin arriving soon at Fraser River landslide: DFO

Salmon expected to begin arriving soon at Fraser River landslide: DFO

Most Read