QuadrigaCX Founder’s Widow Will Cough Up $9 Million to Repay Users
Jennifer Robertson, the widow of QuadrigaCX founder Gerald Cotten, is transferring nearly $9 million ($12 million CAD) in assets to EY Canada, the bankruptcy trustee for the now-defunct crypto exchange.
Robertson announced the move in a statement on Monday, saying since her husband’s death late last year, she had “made every effort” to assist in the recovery of QuadrigaCX’s assets.
The exchange folded earlier this year, after Robertson and other Quadriga-affiliated entities realized they did not have access to the company’s cold wallets, and therefore could not access any of the crypto assets the exchange held. (A subsequent investigation by EY raised doubts as to whether the exchange actually held any customer funds at the time of Cotten’s death.)
In the statement sent to CoinDesk through a lawyer, Robertson said:
“I have now entered into a voluntary settlement agreement where the vast majority of my assets and all of the Estate’s assets are being returned to QCX to benefit the Affected Users. These assets originally came from QCX at the direction of Gerry.”
The settlement is pending approval from a judge.
According to a new report by EY Canada, Robertson will be turning over all assets except for roughly $162,700 in personal assets, which include cash, her retirement savings, a 2015 Jeep, some jewelry, personal furnishings, clothing and some outstanding shares of Quadriga and affiliated entities.
A previous report estimated the total value of Cotten’s estate to include roughly $9 million ($12 million CAD) in assets, including luxury vehicles and more than a dozen properties in Nova Scotia.
EY said in Monday’s report that it intends to liquidate these assets for Quadriga’s stakeholders, including the users who lost funds when the exchange collapsed.
Monday’s report noted that a settlement allowed the parties to avoid legal fees that would be incurred by litigation. Further, as part of the settlement, Robertson will no longer receive any payments under a previous court order.
Robertson added that she had “no direct knowledge” of how Quadriga operated and was unaware that Cotten had commingled client and corporate funds, as EY later found.
“Specifically, I was not aware of nor participated in Gerry’s trading activities, nor his appropriation of the Affected User’s funds,” she said in Monday’s statement.
Monday’s report further added that Robertson suggested a settlement offer after the auditor published its previous report in June 2019.
Robertson will provide a sworn statement detailing the assets she still owns or owned by the estate over the past five years as part of the settlement, and the agreement may be voided if she fails to disclose any of said assets.
In a public post on Telegram, Miller Thomson lawyer Asim Iqbal, the court-appointed representative counsel for the exchange’s users, said the law firm will not provide additional comment.
Gerald Cotten, late CEO of QuadrigaCX, circa 2015, image via Decentral