If Canada was hoping to avoid another QuadrigaCX type exchange fiasco, it appears its already too late. After recently taking control of the Einstein Exchange, the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) is discovering the money is already mostly gone.
In a Nov. 18 B.C. Supreme Court filing, court appointed receiver Grant Thornton Limited have revealed that of the $16 million in customer funds they hoped to locate, only C$45,000 (US$33,808) have been accounted for, reports Global News. Those funds composed of C$30,000 (US$22,539) in cash and C$15,000 (US$11,269) in digital assets.
The BCSC took control of the Einstein Exchange in early November, after receiving complaints from customers that they were unable to access their funds. Even at that point, there were concerns raised that the exchange’s founders had misused customer funds.
Based on Grant Thornton Limited’s investigation, they believe the exchange owes at least C$8 million (US$6.01 million) and as much as C$10 million (US$7.5 million) to its customers. This number is lower than the C$16 million (US$12.02 million) the exchanges customers allege, but more information could come out to inflate the number.
Their job has been made more difficult by Michael Ongun Gokturk, director and founder of the company. The receiver notes that while they attempted to secure company records as early as November 1, but as Gokturk is generally not cooperating and delayed handing over records, they could only receive substantial access on November 11.
The receiver has reached out to accounts liked to the exchange and Goturk to try and locate more funds. They note as well that the millions they can’t account for “stems for a series of credit card and bank draft frauds that the Einstein Group suffered, and that the majority of this loss is made up of cryptocurrency assets.”
If this all sounds too familiar, it’s because the QuadrigaCX scandal is in very recent memory. In that case, now deceased co-founder Gerald Cotten was accused of gambling with user funds. While his death was first blamed for the difficulty to retrieve customer funds, it was eventually revealed that before he died, he had allegedly squandered the fortune through his own unethical actions.
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