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

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

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read