According to a recent NY Times report, the customers of the defunct QuadrigaCX want the remains of the CEO to be exhumed. Some of the customers who were defrauded of millions of dollars now believe that the CEO might not be dead and his claimed death was, in fact, part of a well-orchestrated exit scam.
The QuadrigaCX Saga
The QuadrigaCX exchange was the largest BTC exchange in Canada. Most of the exchange’s BTC holdings were in cold storage, to keep them away from hackers. It was also discovered that only Gerald Cotten, the exchange’s CEO, knew the private keys to the cold wallets.
He apparently died in India, with the cause of death being ruled as Crohn’s disease. However, many in the crypto community have always felt the circumstances under which he died were suspicious. As a result, all those who had their crypto in the exchange lost it.
When an independent firm conducted an audit, it was discovered that the CEO had squandered almost all the funds. In fact, even if he had not died, the customers would still have never accessed their funds. Thus far, a ruling on his exhumation has not been issued.
He Was a Career Con Artist
The CEOs apparent death wasn’t the only shocking event. The most shocking part of the QuadrigaCX saga is that Gerald Cotten was apparently a career con artist. His life long career in operating exit scams was recently revealed by Vanity Fair. One of the shocking revelations of the report was that Cotten operated the entire exchange almost exclusively from his laptop.
Cotten’s Career in Exist Scams
Cotten began his career in confidence scam early on. He first ventured into the space when he was just around 15 years old. Cotten joined HYIP investment forum that was known as TalkGold in 2003. On the forum, he averaged about four posts daily. According, to Patryn, who was a long-time associate of Cotten, the two had been working together for years. Apparently, they had both tried to scam each other.
In January 2004, Cotten apparently launched his own HYIP forum at the age of 15 and a half. Soon after, he launched a pyramid scheme, which was known as S&S Investments. In the scheme, he promised exceedingly high returns to investors in just 48 hours. Investors were promised returns of as high as 150%. When the pyramid scheme shut down three months later, Patryn went to TalkGold where he vehemently defended Cotten. None of the investors ever got their money back. It was revealed that Patryn was, in fact, a man who had been part of a 28-member gang that had been trading in stolen identities that had been arrested by the US Secret Service.
The Vanity Fair report notes that Gerald Cotten opened the QuadrigaCX in 2013. Initially, it operated as Quadriga Fund, a HYIP. However, he changed the name a few months later and founded the QuadrigaCX crypto exchange.
Based on the revelations of the Vanity Fair report, it is easy to see why many investors now doubt that Gerald Cotten is dead. This might just have been one of his most successful schemes yet.
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