Investors want authorities to exhume the body of the founder of Canada‘s largest and now bankrupt Bitcoin exchange to confirm he is actually dead after ‘questionable circumstances’ following his sudden death in India last year.
Gerald Cotten, the 30-year-old founder of the bankrupt cryptocurrency firm QaudrigaCX, died from complications of Crohn’s syndrome while honeymooning in India with his wife on December 9, 2018.
An auditor has since reviewed the troubled firm, and reported concerns over management of the exchange.
Gerald Cotten, 30, was the CEO of QuadricaCX, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Canada which defaulted last year following his death (pictured: with his wife Jennifer Robertson at the Taj Mahal)
Various theories have emerged about Cotten, the most compelling perhaps, claims that he is alive and living off the millions that went missing
These include that Cotten traded bitcoins under aliases, and that substantial funds were transferred to him directly, reports the BBC.
On Friday, lawyers for investors wrote to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police seeking the exhumation and post-mortem autopsy be performed on Cotten’s body ‘to confirm both its identity and the cause of death.’
Cotten’s widow, Jennifer Robertson, in a statement through her lawyer, said she is heartbroken to learn of this request’, regarding the exhumation of his remains.
She did not immediately respond when DailyMail.com reached out.
Cotten had been the only person with keywords to $137million invested in bitcoins at the time of his passing.
His firm, at the time of his death, had about 115,000 clients.
Meanwhile, the auditor, Ernst & Young, has only been able to recover about $25million.
Rumors on the internet have spread that Cotten may in fact still be alive, living off embezzled funds.
His death came four days after he completed his will, which details that his estate includes $9million in real estate, a Lexus, Cessna plane and yacht, know as the Gulliver.
His name also had been misspelled on his Indian death certificate by the the Rajasthan hospital, in a country where forged documents are easy to obtain, according to Vanity Fair.
Cotten’s name was also misspelled on his death certificate by the Rajasthan hospital, in a country where forged documents are easy to obtain
An auditor has uncovered ‘questionable circumstances’ under which QaudrigaCX, Canada’s largest Bitcoin exchange, was managed. These include that its founder Gerald Cotten traded bitcoins under aliases, and that substantial funds were transferred to him directly
Cotten’s will did not mention that cold wallets – external hard drives where millions in bitcoins were stored – were emptied before Cotten and his wife had traveled to India.
The hard drives, which were not connected to the internet, stored the cryptocurrency of 75,000 clients and for which only he had the password.
The password, a long, virtually impossible to remember, set of random numbers and letters, was kept inside a safe bolted to the rafters of his attic.
Ernst and Young, tasked by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court with accessing the cold wallets, was eventually able to access the drives in March, but revealed the currency had gone.
Investigators found the wallets were commonly used to store Bitcoin starting in April 2014, but in April 2018 all but one of them were abruptly emptied and left dormant.
Cotten’s death came four days after he completed his will, which details that his estate includes $9 million in real estate, a Lexus, Cessna plane and yacht, know as the Gulliver
The final wallet was still used to transfer currency until December 3, six days before Cotten died, before it was also left empty.
Various theories have emerged about Cotten, the most compelling perhaps, claims that he is alive and living off the millions that went missing.
His widow, Jennifer Robertson, said her husband’s death ‘should not be in doubt’, the BBC reports.
She adds that it is unclear how the confirmation of her husband’s death, ‘would assist the asset recovery further’.