Lawyers Call for Cryptocurrency CEO’s Body to Be Exhumed to Prove He Didn’t Fake His Own Death

Gerald Cotten's 2018 death left at least $145 million in limbo

bitcoin
(George Frey/Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / December 15, 2019 3:44 pm

Lawyers representing users of the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Quadriga CX have reportedly requested that the body of its co-founder and CEO Gerald Cotten be exhumed and examined to make sure it’s really him.

Cotten died at age 30 in December 2018 from complications from Crohn’s Disease while traveling on his honeymoon in India. His passwords apparently died with him, and the company was unable to access his digital assets, meaning that at least $145 million was left frozen in his account. Unable to pay back more than 100,000 users, Quadriga entered bankruptcy back in April.

In January 2019, Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson announced she was unable to access his password, saying, “The laptop computer from which [Gerald] carried out the companies’ business is encrypted, and I do not know the password or recovery key. Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere.”

On Friday (Dec. 13), the law offices of Miller Thompson LLP sent a letter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police requesting that Cotten’s body be exhumed and subjected to a post-mortem autopsy “to confirm both its identity and the cause of death given the questionable circumstances surrounding Mr. Cotten’s death and the significant losses of Affected Users.”

As CNN reports, the letter also outlined “the need for certainty around the question of whether Mr. Cotten is, in fact, deceased.”

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