April 18, 2024
Gerald Cotten, a co-founder of QuadrigaCX, died in India in 2018. Now, a government agency is targeting another co-founder, Michael Patryn.

B.C. files third unexplained wealth case, targets cash, gold linked to $169-million QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency fraud

The B.C. NDP government introduced new measures last year to combat money laundering that include the unexplained wealth orders

B.C. wants a co-founder of the failed cryptocurrency firm QuadrigaCX to explain the source of funds used to obtain cash, gold bars, jewelry and luxury watches.

In its third so-called unexplained wealth order case, the province is targeting more than $600,000 in assets of Michael Patryn, which were seized by the RCMP in 2021 from a safety deposit box in a CIBC branch in Vancouver.

The province alleges the cash, gold, jewelry and watches, including Rolexes, are linked to fraud involving QuadrigaCX. Thousands of people who held cryptocurrency are estimated to have lost a total of at least $169 million.

A filing by the province Wednesday adds the so-called unexplained wealth order to a case submitted in B.C. Supreme Court in June 2023 where it seeks to have all the assets forfeited as proceeds of unlawful activity.

The B.C. NDP government introduced new measures last year to combat money laundering that include the unexplained wealth orders. If successful in court, the orders put a reverse onus on a person to explain where money came from to buy their assets in cases where there is a suspicion of a crime.

“Gold bars may be highly liquid, and flashy luxury goods, such as jewelry and Rolex watches, attract attention, but they are also attracting the attention of police and our government. If they are the proceeds of criminal activity like fraud, drug trafficking or money laundering, we will go after them,” B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said in a statement Wednesday.

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