In yet another chapter in the QuadrigaCX episode, it has been revealed that QuadrigaCX’s late Co-founder, Gerald Cotten, was associated with Liberty Reserve, a centralized digital currency that was shut down by the United States’ law enforcement, back in 2013.
Cotten’s name has popped up with Michael Patryn, who laid down the foundation of an organization called Midas Gold which acted as an intermediary for Liberty Reserve’s cryptocurrency. The latest development comes a day after QuadrigaCX officially filed for bankruptcy after its losses, an appeal that was approved by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Michael Wood.
Reports by Amy Castor suggest Cotten’s association with Michael Patryn was shady from the very beginning as Patryn was not who he said he was. Castor’s investigations found,
“Patryn, is formerly Omar Dhanani, a convicted felon who was arrested in connection with online identity theft ring Shadowcrew.com in 2004. He was 20 at the time. Working out of his home in Southern California, he was a moderator on the forum. He also offered Shadowcrew members an electronic money laundering service. Send him a Western Union money order and—for a fee of 10% of a transaction—he would filter your money through e-gold accounts. E-gold was an early centralized digital currency. Dhanani served 18 months in a US prison and got out in 2007.”
Liberty Reserve, the alleged connection between Cotten and Midas Gold, went into operation in 2005 and in less than a decade, had 5.5 million users worldwide. Sources also stated that between 2008 and 2013, criminal activities on the network were at an all-time high. Cotten’s name popped up when court proceedings revealed that even though the account was in Patryn’s name, the email id was ‘[email protected],’ the first red flag.
As of press time, there was no confirmation about the full scope of Cotten’s involvement in the money laundering scheme since this is the first time the connection was made. Details of Liberty Reserve’s dealings were also thrown into the limelight by the court, with the statement reading,
“Data obtained from Liberty Reserve’s servers reflects the extensive use of the company’s payment system by criminal websites. The Government analyzed the top 500 accounts by transaction volume, i.e. funds sent and received, to attempt to determine the type of activity associated with each account. The total transaction volume for these accounts is approximately $7.26 billion, or approximately 43% of the total volume of transactions on Liberty Reserve’s entire system.”
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