The dead CEO of Quadriga may be exhumed as per the request of the investors. Gerald Cotten, CEO of Quadriga, died suddenly last year in India from complications related to Crohn’s disease.
The users of Quadriga want to exhume the body of CEO Gerald Cotton to perform an autopsy. The lawyers that represent the users of Quadriga are requesting exhumation of the body of Cotton because they believe there was serious doubts over his death. Cotton died while on his honeymoon in India. The death was ruled due to complications with Crohn’s disease.
After the death of the CEO, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy as a large number of cryptocurrencies held in cold storage could not be accessed. The CEO Cotton was the only one with access to the crypto.
Lawyers for customers of Quadriga cryptocurrency exchange have asked the police to exhume the body of the company’s founder, amid efforts to recover about $190m in Bitcoin which were locked in an online black hole after his death.
Miller Thomson LLP sent a letter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Friday, requesting authorities “conduct an exhumation and postmortem autopsy” on the body of Gerald Cotten, founder of QuadrigaCX, citing what the firm called the “questionable circumstances” around his death earlier this year.
Citing “decomposition concerns”, lawyers requested the exhumation be completed no later than spring 2020.
Gerald Cotten, 30, died abruptly in December 2018 of complications relating to Crohn’s disease while on honeymoon in Jaipur, India, with his wife, Jennifer Robertson. His body was repatriated to Canada and a funeral was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Cryptocurrency investors locked out of $190m after exchange founder dies
Soon after his death, however, reports surfaced that nearly 80,000 users of QuadrigaCX – at the time Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange – were unable to access funds totalling more $190m.
Cotten was the only one with access to necessary permissions. While Robertson has possession of the laptop containing the necessary passwords, she remains locked out.
“The laptop computer from which Gerry carried out the companies’ business is encrypted and I do not know the password or recovery key. Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere,” she said in court filings.
Uncertainty about the missing funds has fueled speculation that Cotten may still be alive. In their letter to the RCMP the law firm underlined the “need for certainty around the question of whether Mr Cotten is in fact deceased”.
The accounting firm Ernst & Young, tasked with auditing the company as it undergoes bankruptcy proceedings, discovered numerous money-losing trades executed by Cotten, using customers’ funds.
They also found a substantial amount of money was used to fund a lavish lifestyle for the couple, including the use of private jets and luxury vehicles. Ernst & Young was able to recover $24m in cash and $9m in assets held by Robertson.
Both Canada’s tax authorities and the FBI are also investigating the company. Dead CEO may be exhumed to solve a potential mystery.