Interested parties attend Nova Scotia Supreme Court as Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange seeks creditor protection in the wake of the sudden death of its founder and chief executive in December and missing cryptocurrency worth roughly $190-million, in Halifax on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

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

Gerald Cotten, who ran the exchange from his home outside of Halifax, died suddenly in December 2018

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.

ALSO READ: Widow of QuadrigaCX founder to hand over most assets in settlement

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.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Hope Curling Club set to welcome provincial championship in February

Field for mixed doubles B.C. tournament almost filled, two berths left to fill

Hope firefighters facing down 48 flights for lung health

Group of seven will take part in grueling Climb the Wall fundraiser

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

New waste system rolling out across Hope Feb. 10

Bins began arriving at homes around Hope this week

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

Woman guilty of dangerous driving crash that left Saanich girl, then 11, unresponsive

Nikirk guilty of one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Victoria-area wolf tranquilized after being seen running around neighbourhood

Officials say wolf unharmed during its ‘arrest’

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants head coach records 200th win with 3-2 victory in Kelowna

Michal Kvasnica and David Tendeck named stars of the game

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Most Read