QuadrigaCX founder's widow to give ripped off clients $12 million

QuadrigaCX founder left thousands of bitcoin investors holding the bag (CBC)

The widow of cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX’s founder is handing over $12 million worth of assets to ease clients’ losses, after her husband’s death left them empty-handed.

Once Canada’s biggest crypto exchange, QuadrigaCX was shut down when Gerald Cotten died suddenly last year.

He had never shared any of the passwords needed to unlock the $214.6 million worth of cash and cryptocurrency stored on digital wallets — not even with his wife.

Bankruptcy trustee Ernst & Young has recovered only $33 million to date. Documents show Cotten was moving clients’ money into his own accounts, and his widow says she was kept in the dark about the whole affair.

“As a result of the monitor’s (Ernst & Young) investigation, I have agreed to return to QCX assets that I had previously thought were purchased with Gerry’s legitimately earned profits, salary and dividends,” said Jennifer Robertson in a statement.

“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 we conclude this settlement,” Robertson said.

The settlement — which is pending approval in an Ontario court — includes 16 real estate properties in Nova Scotia, a property in British Columbia, vehicles, a sailing vessel and a personal aircraft amongst other assets.

While she will be handing over most of her assets, she will get to keep around $100,000 in cash, RRSP savings valued at around $20,000, a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, $8,700 in jewellery, $15,000 worth of furniture, clothes, and issued and outstanding shares of the controlled entities and QuadrigaCX.

Hopes to put this behind her

“I believe this settlement is a fair and equitable resolution for QCX and the affected users, which lets the trustee continue to do the business of recovering as much as possible for the affected users in an efficient way that keeps trustee and legal fees as low as possible going forward,” Robertson said.

“In return, this settlement will allow me to move on with the next chapter of my life.”

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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