Widow of QuadrigaCX CEO Returning $9 Million in Estate Assets (Bitcoinerx)

Jennifer Robertson, the widow of QuadrigaCX CEO Gerald Cotten, is returning US$9 million in estate assets due to a voluntary settlement agreement.

The ongoing saga of the defunct QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange has written a new chapter. The platform’s users lost their funds when Gerald Cotten, the founder and CEO of the exchange, died unexpectedly in India last year. Since then, the exchange has been embroiled in a bevy of controversies, such as the discovery that Cotten had removed a lot of the exchange’s funds for his own personal use. His widow, Jennifer Robertson, has now agreed to a voluntary settlement agreement where she will pay back $9 million in estate assets.

Leaving Behind a Major Mess

The death of Cotten threw the exchange into complete turmoil. It was realized that the exchange had no protocols in place to handle such a situation, which was compounded by the fact that Cotten ran the entire exchange from his encrypted laptop whilst also being the only person with access to the passwords to get into the exchange’s wallets.

QuadrigaCX CEO Gerald Cotten

QuadrigaCX went into bankruptcy protection as attempts were made to bypass the encryption on the laptop. Such attempts were not successful, and the court chose Ernst & Young as its court-appointed monitor.

Ernst & Young eventually found that the cold wallets of the exchange were empty as Cotten had moved a great deal of cryptocurrency to other exchanges in order to engage in trading. In addition, it was found that he withdrew funds for his and his wife’s personal use. The court found that he took money from QuadrigaCX and lent it to Robertson Nova Property Management Inc. to buy multiple parcels of real estate. The real estate company is owned by Jennifer Robertson.

The estate of Gerald Cotten was considerable at the time of his death. The couple owned real estate in British Columbia, a sailing vessel, “significant” cash holdings, a personal aircraft, 16 properties in Nova Scotia, and vehicles. The court-appointed monitor also found that the two lived an expensive lifestyle.

Did She or Didn’t She?

The widow, Jennifer Robertson, is pleading her innocence in not knowing the money used for the couple’s lifestyle was illicitly obtained. She says:

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 as outlined by the monitor in its 5th report in June. Specifically, I was not aware of nor participated in Gerry’s trading activities, nor his appropriation of the affected user’s funds.

Did Robertson know what her husband was up to?

She added:

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

As part of the settlement agreement, Robertson is keeping quite a few assets. She still retains a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, her wedding band and other jewelry, $67,500 in cash, another $15,000 in a retirement account, and just over $11,000 in personal furnishings and QuadrigaCX shares (although the shares are probably worthless).

Robertson says this agreement is “a fair and equitable resolution” for the exchange and the 115,000 people who lost their money. Overall, the victims lost a combined $195 million.

There is no certainty one way or the other if Jennifer Robertson was fully aware of what was going on. Was she a willing partner? Was she duped by her husband? Who knows? What is known that a bunch of people lost a great deal of money. As for Robertson, she hopes “this settlement will allow me to move on with the next chapter of my life.”

Images courtesy of Hacker Noon, Pixabay, and Pxhere.

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