Lawyers increase pressure for QuadrigaCX CEO

Lawyers for those affected by the bankruptcy of defunct crypto exchange QuadrigaCX are upping the pressure to exhume the body of the firm’s former CEO, who died in mysterious circumstances in 2019.

Miller Thomson, the firm appointed by the court to act on behalf of former users of the exchange, has written to Bill Blair of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to query whether the body of the exchange’s founder Gerard Cotten would be exhumed as part of investigations into the collapse.

Lawyers first wrote to law enforcement in December, asking investigators to confirm that Cotten’s body was in his grave, and to obtain by autopsy more information on the cause of death.

“Today, Representative Counsel issued a letter to the Honorable Bill Blair, Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, requesting an update on whether the RCMP will conduct an exhumation and post mortem autopsy on the alleged body of Gerald Cotten prior to Spring 2020,” the letter read.

The letter comes after bankruptcy trustees Ernst & Young requested the courts release some CA$640,000 (US$484,000) to cover expenses incurred in cooperating with law enforcement over the investigation.

According to EY, the bulk of the expense was incurred in reviewing some 750,000 documentary records, as well as its own legal fees for meeting the production demands of various enforcement agencies: “During the process, the Trustee made various efforts to minimize costs and to streamline wherever possible the accumulation, review and production of documents. This included utilizing the services of contract lawyers specialized in privilege review and available at a significantly lower billing rate than other professionals managing the overall Law Enforcement Activities.”

Quadriga users were left out of pocket when the exchange’s founder allegedly died unexpectedly while on a trip to India. Representatives for the exchange have since been unable to recover funds stored in cold wallets, which were apparently known only to Cotten prior to his death.

Those affected are keen to push for exhumation to back up claims of Cotten’s death, which has been widely disputed amongst victims of the collapse.

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