British Columbia Courts Questions Quadriga Executives’ Wealth

British Columbian authorities have issued a third Unexplained Wealth Order, this time against one of the founders of the collapsed crypto exchange Quadriga CX.

Seizing “Proceeds Of Crime”

Canadian authorities in British Columbia are intensifying their efforts to address financial inconsistencies, as shown by their recent scrutiny of Michael Patryn, the founder of Quadriga CX – a once-prominent crypto exchange in Canada that has since ceased operations. Quadriga CX was co-founded by Patryn and Gerald Cotton. Presently, Patryn is being investigated by the British Columbian authorities.

In a statement issued on March 27, Mike Farnworth, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, explained that the forfeiture process is intended to seize the proceeds of criminal activities rather than just expensive possessions. By doing so, this action reduces the financial rewards of criminal enterprises and makes them less attractive.

He said, 

“Instead of keeping the ill-gotten gains from criminal activities, we will channel these funds towards beneficial programs for victims and crime reduction, including the anti-hate grants introduced on Feb. 15, 2024.”

Items Seized From Patryn

In June 2021, the British Columbia forfeiture office filed their third unexplained wealth order (UWO), disclosing that authorities had confiscated substantial assets from Michael Patryn that could be connected to illicit activities. The seized property includes approximately $250,000 in cash, 45 gold bars, luxury watches, and costly jewelry hidden inside a safety deposit box belonging to Patryn, found at CIBC in downtown Vancouver.

Inside the watch case, there are doubtful additions such as a concealed .45-Ruger 1911 firearm along with bullets, and counterfeit identification cards for Patryn and his two disguised names.

The Quadriga Saga

Since 2018, the company has been embroiled in one scandal following another. This all began when co-founder Gerald Cotton passed away under mysterious circumstances while traveling in India. Sadly, Cotton was the sole individual who knew the passwords to the offline cold wallets. Following his demise, it came to light that Cotton had transferred $190 million in cryptocurrency to approximately 115,000 customers, leaving them unable to access their own funds.

Following Quadriga CX’s closure, approximately 76,000 customers were found to be owed around $215 million by the company. However, the trustee appointed in the bankruptcy case, Ernst & Young, was successful in recovering only about $46 million, which was subsequently returned to the investors.

Patryn’s Response

According to the statement, Patryn was last seen in Thailand, and details about his job are yet to be disclosed. In response to allegations made against him in October, Patryn denies that the items in question were involved in or sourced from illegal activities. He also argues that the police investigation violated his charter rights during its execution.

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2024-03-29 16:15