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Gerry Cotten’s widow speaks out over his death and millions of missing crypto

CBC | Cassie Williams | Jan 18, 2022

QuadricaCX gerry cotton - Gerry Cotten's widow speaks out over his death and millions of missing cryptoGerald Cotten died suddenly in 2018 and took keys to $250 million in crypto assets to his grave

Robertson isn't under investigation and has never faced criminal charges. After Cotten's death, she agreed to forfeit $12 million in assets that included vehicles and real estate. She was allowed to keep $90,000 in cash, $20,000 in retirement savings, a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, $15,000 in furniture and some jewelry, including her wedding band.

Cotten ran Quadriga like a Ponzi scheme

Investigative journalists Amy Castor and Takara Small have spent years following and reporting on the Quadriga scandal.   Castor said Cotten operated Quadriga like a Ponzi scheme.

"Whenever people put their money into the exchange, he sort of used it as his personal slush fund," she said.

Small said people were bringing duffel bags of cash to the home Cotten and Robertson shared. She wonders why Robertson didn't think to question what was going on.

See:  QuadrigaCX: A Review by Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission

Robertson said she trusted Cotten, and any questions were explained away because banks were very "anti-bitcoin" and there were problems exchanging cryptocurrency for cash through traditional means.

"It never occurred to me [that he was breaking the law]," said Robertson.

Robertson said she understands many people have been hurt and lost large sums due to the collapse of QuadrigaCX.  "It has been the most unbelievable pain that I could ever imagine," she said.

Questions surrounding Cotten's death

The circumstances around Cotten's sudden death left investors with questions.  How could a seemingly healthy young man die suddenly from complications with Crohn's disease? Why did Robertson wait a month to notify investors of his death?

Robertson said "everything was crazy" after Cotten died and her lawyers were the ones who decided to wait weeks before letting investors know about Cotten's death.  "I did let that go to the lawyers and the contractors, and I trusted that they knew what to do," she said.

Hot Docs video:  Dead Man’s Switch (QuadrigaCX story)

Other red flags raised by investors surrounding Cotten's death included his name being spelled incorrectly on the death certificate and his closed casket funeral. That led to speculation that Cotten may have faked his own death.

Roberston said she's sorry for Cotten's actions and the harm he's caused.

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