QuadrigaCX was owned and operated by Quadriga Fintech Solutions; it was established in 2013 believed to be Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. In 2019 the exchange ceased operations and the company was declared bankrupt with C$215.7 million in liabilities and about C$28 million in assets. A press release published Monday revealed the FBI has joined a lot of criminal investigative agencies within the U.S. looking into the circumstances of the now-defunct Canadian crypto exchange. The FBI has reportedly been investigating Quadriga since at least March, alongside the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Gerald Cotton was Quadriga’s founder and CEO who died during a charity trip to India in December, according to his widow, Jennifer Robertson. The exchange filed for creditor protection a month later, with professional services firm Ernst and Young (EY) acting as the court-appointed monitor for the exchange. EY has been unable to locate any of its holdings (aside from 103 bitcoin accidentally transferred to an inaccessible wallet) even after the exchange was said to be holding some $134 million in crypto.
The company filed for bankruptcy following the death of its founder and a months-long civil rehabilitation process. Amongst the other agencies investigating the exchange are Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI), the U.S. Attorney General’s office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.
Their court-appointed monitor, EY said the exchange has roughly $21 million in assets (including fiat currencies) but could owe customers as much as $160 million. The FBI published has been seeking information for personal identification, contact information and details about QuadrigaCX accounts via a questionnaire for victims of this loss. According to the release:
“If you have questions or concerns about your QuadrigaCX account, or if you believe you are a victim, please complete the below questionnaire, your responses are voluntary but would be useful in the federal investigation and to identify you as a potential victim. Based on the responses provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.”
The jurisdiction of the FBI and IRS-CI are federal crimes such as this, availing victims with information, assistance and other resources is hence a legal requirement.
Credits – Nikhilesh De
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