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

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

FedEx distribution centre coming to Castlegar

Development permit for ground facility before council next week.

Kootenay teams heading for curling provincials

Team Buchy and Team Nichols won the senior playdowns.

Latest winter storm prompts West Kootenay travel warning

20-30 cm of snow expected overnight and into Thursday

PLACE NAMES: Valley of the Ghosts

A ghostly nickname haunts the stretch between Kaslo and New Denver

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

On the job hunt with Nelson’s Make A Change Canada

The employment charity is organizing next week’s Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens game

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Most Read