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

(File image)
Vehicle collides with propane line causing explosion in Thornhill

Driver sustained severe burns, was taken to Lower Mainland in air ambulance

The plan to build a staircase to the Bench includes a channel to more easily transport bicycles up and down. (Photo courtesy City of Terrace)
Staircase to Bench subject of City grant application

Would connect lower Eby St. to upper Eby St.

The car was trapped, with its driver inside, in a ditch off Hirsch Creek Main near Onion Lake overnight Monday (Oct. 19). Oct. 20, 2020. Kitimat RCMP photo.
Man found after spending overnight stuck in car in a ditch near Onion Lake

Kitimat RCMP said the man was stuck there overnight for about 10 hours

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals. (Black Press Composite Photo)
B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read