Widow of QuadrigaCX founder to hand over most assets in settlement

Online exchange, which launched in 2013 and grew to become one of Canada’s largest with 363,000 customers

The widow of the founder of QuadrigaCX has agreed to hand over most of her assets in a settlement reached as part of bankruptcy proceedings for the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange.

The settlement says Jennifer Robertson and the estate of her late husband, Gerald Cotten, are to return about $12 million in assets to help repay users of the exchange. Those assets include properties in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, a small aircraft, “luxury vehicles,” a sailboat, investments, and cash, along with gold and silver coins.

The funds are only a fraction of the $214.6 million in cash and cryptocurrency that more than 76,000 unsecured users have claimed following the collapse of the exchange after Cotten’s death last December.

The online exchange, which launched in 2013 and grew to become one of Canada’s largest with 363,000 customers, offered a platform for trading and storing digital assets like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.

The exchange was already facing liquidity issues before the death of Cotten, who was chief executive and sole director, but employees found they were unable to locate or access most of the cryptocurrency assets after he died.

An investigation by creditor monitor Ernst and Young found 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 on QuadrigaCX to inflate revenue figures.

Robertson said in a statement that she wasn’t aware of how her husband operated the business, or his appropriation of users funds.

ALSO READ: QuadrigaCX founder transferred customers’ funds to his own accounts: report

“I had no direct knowledge of how Gerry operated the business prior to his death, and was not aware of his improper actions in managing the QuadrigaCX business.”

The monitor said that to its knowledge, neither Cotten nor Robertson had material sources of income other than funds received from QuadrigaCX, though neither reported income from the company on tax returns in recent years.

Robertson said that she has agreed to return assets she thought were purchased with legitimately earned proceeds from the company.

“I was upset and disappointed with Gerry’s activities as uncovered by the investigation when I first learned of them, and continue to be,” she said.

Robertson will be able to keep about $90,000 in cash, $20,000 in retirement savings, a Jeep, and some jewelry and furnishings as part of the settlement.

The assets handed over by Robertson will add to the roughly $32 million in cash plus $1 million in cryptocurrency that Ernst and Young has already recovered from QuadrigaCX.

Robertson said she hopes the settlement will allow users to be repaid as much as possible while keeping fees as low as possible.

“I believe this settlement is a fair and equitable resolution for QCX and the affected users…in return, this settlement will allow me to move on with the next chapter of my life.”

Ian Bickis, 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

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

Column: Keeping distance, working together and readying for rebound

Council Report by Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison

Shuswap food bank gives away three months of food in one week

High demand in face of COVID-19, Eagle Valley Community Support Society appeals for donations

Salmon Arm asked to identify facilities for isolation in COVID-19 response

Mayor downplays need in city for new bylaw enforcement powers enabled by province

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Shuswap History in Pictures: Horse power

A horse and buggy brings two passengers into Sicamous in the 1920s.

Most Read