Gerald Cotten was the talk of the cryptocurrency world in Canada after he introduced QuadrigaCX, a place where investors could buy and sell cryptocurrency. The young entrepreneur seemed to be at the height of his success, traveling around the world with his wife, Jennifer, and leading a jet-setting lifestyle. However, his sudden death in December 2018 and the circumstances surrounding that sparked intense speculation; a few believed Gerald faked his own death.
Netflix’s ‘Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King’ provides an insight into what happened to Gerry and the money that Quadriga’s customers had invested on the platform. So, if you want to know more about Gerry’s death and why people think he might have faked it, we’ve got you covered.
What Happened to Gerald Cotten?
Gerry was on his honeymoon in India with Jennifer in December 2018. At the time, the couple was looking to open an orphanage in that country. They had been living at a hotel in Jaipur, India, when Gerry came down with an intense stomach ache just days into their holiday. On December 8, 2018, the 30-year-old was rushed to a local hospital sometime in the evening.
Gerry then spent the night in a private room at the hospital after being diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis. But his condition worsened the following afternoon, with blood tests indicating a septic shock. Gerry had been dealing with Crohn’s disease for a long time, an ailment that caused inflammation of the digestive system. At around 2:45 pm on December 9, Gerry suffered a cardiac arrest; he was revived twice and put on a ventilator. However, a third cardiac arrest resulted in his death at about 7:26 pm. The cause of death was noted as complications from Crohn’s disease.
Is Gerald Cotten Really Alive?
After Gerry died, no autopsy was conducted, and the body was sent back to the hotel. There was some confusion regarding the embalming process because initially, the embalmer didn’t accept the body. After all, the request came from hotel employees. Then, Gerry’s body was sent to a local medical college, where the embalming certificate was issued. Jennifer was back in Nova Scotia, Canada, soon after that.
However, Gerry’s death was not declared for more than a month, and during that time, it was business as usual for QuadrigaCX. Once it was public knowledge, customers who tried to withdraw their funds from the platform could not do so. As time went by, the money failed to materialize, with Jennifer stating that she had no access to the cold wallets that stored the cryptocurrency externally. As a result, creditors who had a lot of money invested began to look into what happened leading up to Gerry’s death.
They believed that the circumstances were suspicious enough to think he might have faked his own death in a sinister scheme to keep all the money. While around $25 million of QuadrigaCX’s assets were frozen earlier, the money was returned to the company just days before he died. Furthermore, Gerry had signed his will less than two weeks before his death, signing over all his assets to Jennifer.
Adding to their woes was Gerry’s prior history of fraud, and the company’s co-founder also had a history of fraudulent behavior. Back in India, the gastroenterologist stated that he couldn’t be sure about the diagnosis without the autopsy. Medical experts also noted that the mortality rate of Crohn’s disease is relatively low but have speculated that Gerry might have had a perforated bowel. As for the death certificate, Gerry’s name was misspelled on it, fueling theories about its authenticity and how easy it was to buy fake documents in India.
Some felt that Gerry taking flying lessons was a way of preparing to live life on the run. There was even mention of a “Haitian zombie powder” that could purportedly be used to fake death. A combination of these suspicious circumstances and theories led to calls for Gerry’s body to be exhumed to confirm his death. A journalist stated, “Some people think Gerald is still alive, somewhere — he’s at the beach, sipping a Mai Tai; he’s benefiting from all of the millions that were stolen from investors. And exhuming the body would be a really huge step. It’d be a form of closure for some people.”
However, that request has not been fulfilled until now. Nevertheless, there has been no evidence that points to Gerry being alive. While the circumstances lend to the suspicion, Gerry had had Crohn’s disease for a while, and the death was just sudden and unfortunate. In the end, Gerry was accused of running a Ponzi scheme and using the customers’ money to make risky trades on other cryptocurrency exchanges. The 30-year-old created fake accounts on his platform and used them to trade fake Bitcoin for real money and digital currency.