They traced the relationship back to 2003, to a dingy warren of a website called TalkGold. It was devoted to high-yield investment programs, or HYIPs, more commonly known as Ponzi schemes. There was no such constraint on the outraged creditors—or the true believers who saw in Quadriga’s collapse an existential threat to cryptocurrency’s integrity at just the moment it had assumed an eggshell veneer of legitimacy. Bitcoin was founded on the principle that no individual or institution should be trusted.
The doctor stated that while dying from Crohn’s disease is very rare, Cotten appeared to show signs of illness and suffered from three heart attacks in the same day – the paramedics were unable to resuscitate him after his third cardiac arrest. Netflix’s documentary definitely seems to be in the corner that Cotten did die, despite the mystery surrounding his death. Gerald Cotten is allegedly meant to have died from Crohn’s disease after the exchange crashed. Despite the speculation, there is currently no solid evidence that Cotten did fake his own death and abscond with the money.
What Happened to Jennifer Robertson and Where Is Gerald Cotten’s Wife Now?
He was then admitted to a hospital for “symptoms of acute gastroenteritis.” He had vomited 10 times and had a background of Crohn’s disease. He spent the night in the hospital but then deteriorated suddenly. The 33-page report also concluded Cotten had opened Quadriga accounts under aliases and credited himself with fictitious currency and crypto asset balances, which he then traded with unsuspecting Quadriga clients. An official probe conducted by the Ontario Securities Commission was able to identify $46 million worth of assets, leaving an unexplained shortfall of $169 million. They later discovered that the bulk of that money had been frittered away on Cotten’s lavish lifestyle and making speculative trades in other cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin.
Up to C$250 million (US$190 million) in cryptocurrency owed to 115,000 customers was missing or could not be accessed because only Cotten held the password to off-line cold wallets. People who knew Gerry Cotten described him as a young man who enjoyed silly pranks and always smiled. No one had ever seen him angry; he was always a happy boy-next-door guy who had an interest in the digital world.
The company raised C$850,000 but cancelled plans to list on the exchange in early 2016. Quadriga had four employees in 2015 with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, but ran out of money by June 2015. Cotten’s death will likely remain a mystery, with some believing that he is still residing somewhere in the world with the stolen money. Reported by Fansided, Globe and Mail journalist Nathan Vanderklippe spoke to Dr. Sharma, who dealt with Cotten when he came into the hospital.
Who was the crypto king Gerry Cotten?
While people tend to be hopeful in trying times, with the QuadrigaCX scam, the results were not promising in the end. In this version of the story, scams beget scams and incompetence snowballs into recklessness and squander. The public bid was a last-ditch effort to salvage a flailing Ponzi, exploiting positive press and public sympathy to bilk money from investors. We now know that Cotten began, no later than 2015, to steal his clients’ funds.
- Quadriga customers were desperate to stanch losses and pull their money out of the exchange.
- What Quadriga really did with the money that customers gave it to buy Bitcoin remains a mystery.
- Questions were also raised about Cotten’s name being misspelled on his death certificate, which Robertson explains as an understandable mistake given they were in a foreign country.
- In the middle of this tumultuous year, Cotten and Robertson got married.
Gabby Petito’s Life With—And Death By—Brian LaundrieForensically examining Instagram accounts, interviews, and police reports, author Kathleen Hale reconstructs their relationship, and ultimately Petito’s murder. In October 2013, Cotten placed a job posting on an online forum, BlackHatWorld, that marketed frauds and stolen goods. He sought “a programmer who is familiar with Bitcoin” to develop a website that would serve as “an open market place, like a stock market, where people buy and sell Bitcoin.” The design had to be “simple, but professional” and it had to be built quickly. In isolation this might be written off as teenage hijinks—or at most light fraud.
If this doesn’t make sense, then it could be because the founders are trying to confuse you. Promises of a high or guaranteed return – Does the offer look realistic? His wife Jennifer Robertson said he had promised to create a mechanism that turned thepasswords over to her when he died.
Mystery of crypto CEO who died — or did he? — taking $250 million with him
A report by Cotten’s attending physician, Dr Jayant Sharma, revealed that he suffered from Crohn’s disease, a chronic ailment that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. His wife later told a court affidavit that Cotten had been diagnosed with the disease when he was 24. Suddenly sensational theories flooded the internet that the Bitcoin millionaire had faked his own death, run off with the money, and was living under an assumed identity abroad. Other conspiracies suggested that he was poisoned by his wife or that he had even been bumped off by mobsters.
There was no “dead man’s switch,” which would have sent the codes to a predetermined source in the event that accounts went unopened for a period of days. On November 13, 2019, approximately three weeks before his death, The Globe and Mail quoted Cotten’s reaction to a law-suit from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce . In January 2019 CIBC had frozen several accounts with $26 million CAD on deposit, claiming it couldn’t be sure who the funds actually belonged to.
One Quadriga contractor claims today that the payment processor WB21, now the subject of federal lawsuits in the United States, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, stole $14 million, and that another processor stole $5.8 million. He was driven to a private hospital and diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis. The following afternoon his condition deteriorated and blood tests indicated septic shock. Before doctors could stabilize him, his heart stopped; he was revived, and his heart stopped again. Barely more than 24 hours after the onset of a stomachache, he was pronounced dead.
The rapid decline of Cotten’s vitals are consistent with what a patient with the disease might experience, though according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, a person is unlikely to die from it. From hair trends to relationship advice, our what is razor network daily newsletter has everything you need to sound like a person who’s on TikTok, even if you aren’t. Gerry died before criminal proceedings could occur, so he never spent any time in jail, nor was he sentenced or charged with anything.
A month passed before Robertson announced on Quadriga’s Facebook page that Cotten had died. During that time Quadriga continued to accept new funds but returned none. It was also revealed that Cotten had written his will just four days before leaving for India. It detailed C$12 million in real estate holdings, the Lexus, the Cessna, and the Gulliver; it left C$100,000 for the care of their Chihuahuas. The will made no mention of the external hard drives, called cold wallets, in which Cotten had stored most of Quadriga’s funds.
His will included provision to set aside $100,000 for his in-laws, for the care of the couple’s two dogs, if Robertson should die within 30 days of his death. Ernst & Young reported on 6 February 2019 that C$468,675 (US$354,300) of bitcoin were “inadvertently” sent to an inaccessible cold wallet. Federal Bureau of Investigation were reportedly investigating the company.
This was later discovered by accounting firms Ernst and Young in 2019. A spokesperson for the Fortis Escorts Hospital in Jaipur, India—the place listed on Cotten’s death certificate—told The Globe and Mail in February 2019 that Cotten was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 8. He was suffering from septic shock, perforation peritonitis, and an intestinal obstruction. He suffered two cardiac arrests on Dec. 9 and was declared dead that evening.
Patryn had said that Cotten was “like a little brother to me.” This was how those who had known both of them saw it too, though the characterization usually wasn’t intended as a compliment. At a time when the Bitcoin Co-op was a small group of crypto enthusiasts who met in each others’ apartments, Patryn wrote them an email out of the blue, expressing his support. They usually did the outreaching; nobody had reached out to them before. The major break in the investigation was not a revelation, exactly, but something that had been hiding in plain sight.
Conspiracy theorists insist that Cotten faked his own death, however, as many irregularities surrounding his death began to circulate, including a copy of his misspelled death certificate and the fact that his funeral had a closed casket. This includes his decision to change his will just nine days before he died, leaving everything to his wife of less than a year, Jennifer, including a $9.6 million estate and a $100,000 trust fund to look after their dogs. In December 2018, Gerry Cotten mysteriously died at the age of 30 during a trip to Jaipur, India. Officially, his death was ruled as a result of complications related to Crohn’s Disease, a lifelong condition that affects the bowel and large intestine and causes oftentimes painful inflammation. With the ever-present rise in popularity for Bitcoin, NFTs and cryptocurrency, the latest film delves into the theory that one man managed to fake his own death after becoming a star on the rise within the industry. But while in Jaipur, Cotten – who often suffered flare ups due to Crohn’s disease – fell ill, then went into septic shock and died a day later on December 9.
Cotten died in 2018, according to a statement from his widow.
CIBC stated that they could not determine the ownership of the money and could not contact Cotten or Quadriga. In November 2018 the case was decided with the accounts going to the court to decide the ownership individually. In June 2019, Ernst & Young released a report alleging that Cotten had used millions of dollars from Quadriga customers’ accounts for his own personal use, as CoinDesk reported at the time. In April 2020, the Ontario Securities Commission released a report showing that Cotten was operating Quadriga like a Ponzi scheme. He had spent around $24 million on personal expenses including real estate, travel, and vehicles.
Before arriving in Jaipur, Cotten and Robertson had already traveled to some of India’s biggest tourist destinations, including the Taj Mahal and Varanasi. According to VanderKlippe’s https://cryptolisting.org/ reporting, they planned to stay in Jaipur for four days. Almost as soon as they arrived at the Oberoi Rajvilas, however, they left to seek medical care for Cotten.
On one particular margin account, he conducted 67,000 individual trades alone, placing enormous bets on fledgling currencies like Dogecoin, OmiseGO, and Zcash. The news of Cotten’s 2018 demise came as a shock to investors in QuadrigaCX—Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange at the time. Only Cotten had the key to $250 million CAD of investors’ money. As you’ll see in the documentary, which starts streaming on Wednesday, March 30, some people think Cotten faked his death. After digging into the digital footprints of Cotten, it was discovered that he was not new to the game.