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British Columbia Authorities Seize Assets from QuadrigaCX Co-Founder in Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Fraud

In British Columbia, Canada, authorities have targeted assets linked to QuadrigaCX, a defunct cryptocurrency exchange, through an unexplained wealth order.

This legal maneuver aims to seize cash, 45 gold bars, and luxury items from a safe deposit box associated with Michael Patryn, a founder of QuadrigaCX.

An unexplained wealth order requires individuals to justify their asset’s origins, underlining the government’s stance against illicit financial gains.

Mike Farnworth, British Columbia’s public safety minister, emphasized the province’s commitment to combating financial crime, stating, “Through this action, we are demonstrating again that criminals will have to prove that their assets are the proceeds of lawful activity and not financial crime.

The international, criminal actions of Quadriga Coin Exchange (Quadriga CX) led to thousands of people losing their life savings.”

QuadrigaCX’s story took a notorious turn in February 2019 when it went bankrupt after the sudden death of Gerald Cotten, its co-founder.

Cotten’s death meant the loss of access to the exchange’s digital wallets, leaving many investors out of pocket.

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The legal documents assert that the seized assets, found in a bank’s safe deposit box and linked to Patryn and Cotten, are believed to be proceeds from criminal undertakings.

This box held not only Canadian cash and gold but also luxury watches, jewelry, a firearm with ammunition, and identity documents under various names, revealing Patryn’s significant role in QuadrigaCX’s malpractices.

Civil forfeiture laws in British Columbia, in place since 2006, facilitate the confiscation of assets believed to be connected to criminal activities, even absent formal criminal charges.

This case not only spotlights the aftermath of QuadrigaCX’s collapse but also Patryn’s checkered past, including a history of financial crimes in the U.S. and involvement in new decentralized finance projects under an alias.

The seizure underscores the authorities’ resolve to trace and reclaim assets tied to financial crimes, setting a precedent for accountability in the murky waters of cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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