Canadian authorities move to seize assets tied to QuadrigaCX CEO

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The director of civil forfeiture in the Canadian province of British Columbia has made an unexplained wealth order to confiscate cash, 45 gold bars and luxury items found in a safe deposit box linked to a co-founder of the QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange.

An unexplained wealth order is a type of court order that compels a person to explain how they acquired their assets. Mike Farnworth, the province’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, said in a statement:

“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, once the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Canada, became insolvent in February 2019, shortly after its co-founder, Gerald Cotten, died in India, taking the private keys to QuadrigaCX’s offline storage systems to the grave.

According to documents submitted to the British Columbia Supreme Court, the assets are allegedly the proceeds of criminal activities linked to Michael Patryn, co-founder of Quadriga Coin Exchange, and Gerald Cotten. The order facilitated the seizure of a safe deposit box at CIBC Bank along with an account.

Related: QuadrigaCX creditors set to receive 13% of their claims as an ‘interim dividend’

Civil forfeiture has existed in British Columbia since 2006, allowing the province to confiscate property without criminal charges.

Inside the safe deposit box were 250,200 Canadian dollars ($184,250) in cash, gold bars, two Rolex watches, a Chanel J12 Black Diamond watch and other jewelry items.

Additionally, the box contained a 45-caliber Ruger 1911 pistol with ammunition and identity documents bearing the names Omar Dhanani and Omar Patryn, according to the CBC.

The order contends that Patryn played a significant role in QuadrigaCX’s activities, including misappropriating customer funds and cryptocurrency, justifying the seizure of assets.

Following the seizure, the next course of action is to prompt a response from Patryn to account for his wealth.

After QuadrigaCX’s collapse, Patryn embarked on a new venture in decentralized finance, participating in various protocols like Wonderland and UwU Lend, using the alias “Sifu.”

Michael Patryn was previously known as Omar Dhanani before two name changes in 2003 and 2008. He has been convicted of various financial crimes in the United States.

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