Lammer

The Quadriga Affair

06 March 2019 •

Gerald "Gerry" Cotten

  • Gerald Cotten co-founded Quadriga CX in 2013 and was the last of five board members to remain with the company past 2016.
  • Quadriga had its bank accounts frozen by CIBC in January 2018 and had trouble delivering on customer withdrawals during the entirety of 2018.
  • He married Jennifer Roberts in mid-late 2018, made a will granting her 4 homes, a yacht and plane, and $100,000 to care for two chihuahuas on November 27th, 2018.
  • According to a press release not issued until 36 days after his (alleged) death, he died of complications from Crohn's disease at age 30 while in India building an orphanage.
  • His death certificate, which spells his name Cottan, was issued in Jaipur on December 13th.
  • He is alleged to be the only holder private keys to Quadriga's "cold wallets" containing an alleged $190 million in cryptocurrencies now lost on his encrypted laptop.
  • Cotten had previously said that their wallets were multisignature which would mean that their should be other keys.
  • Quadriga has made it more difficult to know whether the coins are indeed locked in the cold storage wallets because they haven't released their addresses.
  • However, some forensic researchers believe they have located the Litecoin cold storage wallet for Quadriga and seen coins moving out after Cotten's reported time of death.

Jennifer Robertson


Michael Patryn (Omar Dhanani)

  • A Vancouver man known as Michael Patryn was the co-founder and original director of Quadriga.
  • He is actually Omar Dhanani, a convicted member of the identify theft and credit card theft ring Shadowcrew.
  • At one point he boasted of moving $40,000 to $100,000 per day online settled using a pre-Bitcoin digital currency called e-Gold.
  • He was arrested in 2005, served time in federal prison, and upon his release in 2008 set up an exchange for digital currencies like Liberty Reserve (which was banned in 2013.)
  • He's on Reddit and posts about Quadriga.
  • One of the listed board members of Quadriga, Lovie Horner, is probably his girlfriend.

Lovie Horner

  • Fashion/costume designer Lovie Horner was on the board of Quadriga until her resignation in 2015.
  • Lovie Horner's Facebook picture places her in Phong Nha, Vietnam on January 2nd, 2019. A reddit post by Michael Patryn places him in Saigon on December 21st, 2018. Horner's Pinterest page indentifies her under the username "mspatryn."
  • Lovie Horner controls (or at least at one point controlled) an 11% stake in Quadriga.

Jose Reyes (Costodian)

  • Jose Reyes is the CEO of Costodian and Billerfy, both companies that provided payment processing for Quadriga.
  • Reyes attempted to initiate two separate transfers for $1.3 million and $1 million from Quadriga accounts to his personal accounts in December 2017, causing CIBC to contact Gerald Cotten and eventually freeze Quadriga's accounts in January 2018.
I can't find a picture of Jose Reyes so here is Met's third basement Jose Reyes.

QCX Aaron Madoff

QCX Aaron Madoff is an admin on the /quadriga subreddit. He posted the photo

Quadriga CX Bucks

When customers deposited Canadian dollars into their Quadriga account, a payment process actually converts them into QuadrigaCX Bucks. Here is their TOS on the issue:
All account fundings are considered to be purchases of QuadrigaCX Bucks. These are units that are used for the purposes of purchasing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. QuadrigaCX Bucks are NOT Canadian Dollars. Any notation of $, CAD, or USD refers to an equivalent unit in QuadrigaCX Bucks, which exist for the sole purpose of buying and selling Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Huh? They do not take deposits?
QuadrigaCX is NOT a financial institution, bank, credit union, trust, or deposit business. We DO NOT take Deposits. We exist solely for the purposes of buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
Since they do take Canadian dollars and hold them in your account denominated as Canadian dollars, that means that for every QuadrigaCX buck their should be $1 CAD in a bank account somewhere. This is similar to relationship between Bitfinex and the stablecoin Tether (USDT) except that Tethers are clearly denominated as such, and they have still come under intense suspicion and scrutiny.
Since Quadriga makes it very clear that it's not a bank, some actual bank had to hold those Canadian dollars. That bank was the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Corporate Structure of Quadriga

  • Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp. owns 100% of Whiteside Capital Corp
  • Whiteside Capital Corp owns 100% of 0984750 BC Ltd
  • 0984750 BC Ltd does business as Quadriga CX and Quadriga Coin Exchange
Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp. was previously known as Ancetera Corp.
As per his wife, Gerald Cotten owns 16.8 Million of 40.78 Million outstanding shares, approximately 41.2% of Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp.

Dhanani's Businesses

  • Omar Dhanani did business (and crime) under multiple aliases including Omar Patryn, Michael Patryn, and more. When he was arrested as part of Shadowcrew, he was living at the time with a relative, Nazmin Dhanani.
  • Nazmin Dhanani and Michael Patrick are the listed company officers of Vancouver's MPD Advertising
  • At the same address is a registration for WORLD BJJ FEDERATION listing Michael Patryn and Lovie Horner as company officers.
Many other companies with varying company officers are also registered to this address.

Timeline


Oct 2004

Six members of the cybercrime group Showcrew are arrested and charged with running an identity theft and credit card ring. One of them, "Voleur" (French for "thief) aka Omar Dhanani of California, "boasted in a chat room that he moved between $40,000 and $100,000 a week" using a pre-Bitcoin form of digital currency called e-Gold.

May 2007

Omar Dhanani is released from Federal Prison.

Apr 2008

Omar Dhanani registers the Midas Gold exchange in Canada under the name Omar Patryn. Midas Gold processes anonymous purchases of various pre-Bitcoin digital currencies, most notably Liberty Reserve. Dhanani also registers other similar companies and domains including DSNGEO.com, VFSnetwork.com, XXX-change.com and HD-Money.com,

2013

After an investigation by the Costa Rican authorities, Liberty Reserve is shut down for "money laundering and facilitating identity theft, credit card theft, narcotics trafficking, and child pornography."

Nov 2013

Quadriga launches. It gets publicity as the first exchange to register with FINTRAC and accept Gold Bullion deposits. Its co-founder and public face is 24-year-old Gerald Cotten. His co-founder is only sometimes listed in the company's documentation though he identifies himself as the director. His name is Michael Patryn, but he is in fact convicted fraudster Omar Dhanani.
Also in 2013, according to his widow, Gerald Cotten was diagnosed with Crohn's disease.

2015

Quadriga becomes the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Canada.

Mar 2015

Quadriga announces plans to go public. Michael Patryn discusses these plans in this video.

Apr 2015

Quadriga announces plan to install Bitcoin ATMs across Canada, which never happens.

Sep 2015

Though Quadriga has not actually gone public, it is now selling Over-the-Counter shares. It has previously published audits, but ceases to in September 2015.

Mar 2016

BCSC issues a cease trade order (CTO) for failure to submit audits, bringing a close to OTC sales of stock in Quadriga. 3 of Quadriga’s 5 board members (Anthony Milewski, Lovie Horner, Bill Filtness) and CFO (Natasha Tsai) resign.

Later in 2016

Soon co-founder and director Michael Patryn resigns as well.

June 2017

Quadriga loses 67,000 ETH (worth $14 mil) at the time due to a technical error.

Dec 2017

Jose Reyes, CEO of Costodian and Billerfy, attempted to move over $1 million CAD from a Quadriga account to a personal CIBC account flagging an internal probe by CIBC. (Some accounts have this transfer at $2.3 million CAD.)

January 2018

The bank contacts Gerald Cotten about Jose Reyes' transfer and he refused to speak to them.
CIBC freezes 5 accounts linked with $28 million CAD and states they are attempting to work out whether the funds belong to Costodian, Quadriga, or Quadriga's customers.
Customers find it increasingly difficult to withdraw Canadian dollars from Quadriga and begin to complain on Reddit throughout 2018. Quadriga claims that withdrawal problems are the product of CIBC's freeze.

Mar 2018

Red flags about the identity of Michael Patryn aka Omar Dhanani aka Omar Patryn aka Voleur appeared online as early as March 2018.
This pastebin demonstrates numerous links to show that Michael Patryn was in fact Omar Dhanani, who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud in November 2005.

Aug 2018?

Gerald Cotten marries Jennifer Robertson.

Nov 2018

Bitcoin experiences its worst decline in 7 years, falling 50% in November alone.

November 27th, 2018

Gerald Cotten signs a will that appoints Jennifer as the executor of his estate and the inheritor of his assets, including "several properties in Nova Scotia and in Kelowna, British Columbia, a 2017 Lexus, an airplane, a Jeanneau 51 yacht" and $100,000 to care for "his pet chihuahuas, Nitro and Gully." He has twelve days left to live.

Dec 2018

Gerald Cotten and Jennifter Robertson donate to a charity called Angel's House which builds houses for those in need. Angel's House does accept charitable donations but does not have a program where people visit India to build houses.
An image of the building first surfaced on reddit posted by an account named QCX Aaron Maddoff, that was only 9 days old.
It's unclear when this photo was taken, but the sign is dated December 2018. Since this is a 12 child home, it appears that Gerald Cotten and Jennifer Robertson raised $21,350 to build it.
There are multiple towns named Venkaturapam in India but none within 200km of Jaipur. Photos with similar signage appear on Angel House's social media but not this one, which was posted to Reddit.

Dec 13th, 2018

Date of death certificate issued showing "Gerald William Cotton" as having died on December 9th, 2018 at Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur, India. Cotten and his parents names are both mispelled. His wife is listed as "Jennifer Kathleen Margaret Robertson"
Fortis Escorts Hospital has been associated with fraud before.
Another document issued by a Nova Scotia funeral home the day before attests to his death, but does not confirm that his remains where physically witnessed in Canada.

Jan 15, 2019

QuadrigaCX announces that Gerald Cotten died in India on December 9th 2018 as a result of Crohn’s disease, in India, while helping build an orphanage.
During the period since Cotten's death, Quadriga has continued to allow deposits and continued to lead customers to believe their withdrawals will be filled.

Jan 31, 2019

Jennifer Robertson, on behalf of QuadrigaCX applied for creditor protection with a court in Nova Scotia.
Her documentation includes an image of bank records on a stove next to a candle.

Feb 2, 2019

Feb 5, 2019

Creditor protection granted with Ernst & Young as an independent monitor. Quadriga's press release claims that it has lost access to
  • 26,500 BTC
  • 11,000 Bitcoin Cash
  • 11,000 Bitcoin SV
  • 35,000 Bitcoin Gold
  • 200,000 Litecoin
  • 430,000 Ethereum.
The value of those coins is approximately $150mil USD.
An independent piece of research suggests that there are no cold wallets and that Quadriga's wallet contain less than 1,000 BTC.
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