Lawyers representing customers of the now doomed Canadian crypto exchange Quadriga CX are asking police officials to exhume (dig up) the body of the company’s deceased head executive Gerald Cotten.
The Drama Surrounding Cotten Lives On
Cotten made headlines in late 2018 when it was announced that he had passed away due to complications from Crohn’s disease while performing charitable work in India. What was so important about his passing was that Cotten was the only person working at Quadriga to allegedly possess the private keys that could permit access to users’ exchange funds.
With Cotten now out of the picture, nobody possessed the means to allow customers to withdraw funds. Naturally, this didn’t sit well with several of the investors, and many grouped together to harass the executive’s widow to see if there was anything that she could do to potentially release their funds. Sadly, this effort proved fruitless, and many turned to legal action as a way of getting their money back.
Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson explained in a statement:
The laptop computer from which Gerry carried out the company’s 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.
The exchange is now wrapped up in a serious class-action lawsuit, and evidence has emerged suggesting that Cotten may have embezzled user funds prior to his untimely demise, so the question remains: where is the money, and how much, exactly, is left?
Many customers are tearing their hair out trying to retrieve their money. Court documents suggest as much as $190 million in BTC and assorted crypto funds have been lost since Cotten died approximately one year ago.
Miller Thompson LLP – the legal firm representing customers in the suit – have sent a letter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police asking that Cotten’s body be removed from the Earth and that an autopsy be performed to better understand how he died and if the circumstances stated in past media releases are correct and accurate.
Could He Still Be Alive?
At the time of writing, the sentiment remains that Cotten passed due to Crohn’s disease, but Miller Thompson is suggesting that the executive died due to what the letter refers to as “questionable circumstances.” The firm is also asking that the exhumation occur no later than spring of 2020 due to concerns regarding decomposition of the executive’s body.
Following his death in India, Cotten was shipped back to Canada and a private funeral took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, though speculation still persists that the former executive is actually alive, and that his alleged passing was all part of an elaborate hoax for the founders of Quadriga to run off with customer money and get rich.