The sudden death of Gerald Cotten in December 2018 plunged the world of cryptocurrency into chaos. At the time, he was the CEO of QuadrigaCX, a company that performed cryptocurrency exchanges. His death left investors locked out of their money and left Jennifer Robertson, Gerry’s wife, to deal with the fallout. Netflix’s ‘Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King’ delves into the circumstances surrounding Gerry’s death and what happened to the company after that. As a result, Jennifer had to deal with the legal ramifications. So, if you’re curious to find out more, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Jennifer Robertson?
Jennifer met Gerry in November 2014 on Tinder. It took some time for him to grow on her, but they eventually fell in love. At the time, Gerry ran QuadrigaCX and profited from Bitcoin’s astronomical rise in value. The company took a cut from every Bitcoin trade on its platform. The couple enjoyed the newfound wealth, traveling to exotic locations and buying properties in addition to a boat and a plane. They married in Scotland in October 2018.
The couple’s marriage came around when Bitcoin’s value began to plummet, leading to customers wanting to withdraw their money from QuadrigaCX. Within months, things went from bad to worse for everyone involved. In December 2018, Jennifer and Gerry traveled to Jaipur, India, for their honeymoon. They were to sponsor an orphanage in the country as well. But on December 9, 2018, Gerry died at a local hospital because of complications resulting from Crohn’s disease at the age of 30.
It was then revealed that Gerry presumably happened to be the only person with access to the digital keys to the cold wallets that held the cryptocurrency. This meant that multiple customers were missing over $180 million. But there were questions regarding Gerry’s death and the events surrounding it. His demise was not announced until over a month after it happened. Furthermore, Gerry signed his will less than two weeks before his death, leaving all of his assets to Jennifer.
In February 2019, Jennifer insisted she was not privy to the company’s business, asserting that Gerry was solely responsible for its dealings. But users claimed they received deposits from Jennifer directly, seemingly contradicting her statement. She later explained it, saying, “I hadn’t understood how Quadriga had held money in the first place; I thought it was just a trade.” Jennifer only knew that she was paid a commission to process payments for QuadrigaCX via a firm set up in her name. There were further questions regarding Jennifer changing her name from Griffith to Forgeron and then to Robertson. She attributed that to a failed marriage and not liking her birth name (Griffith).
While Jennifer said she stopped processing payments in 2016, customer receipts showed the firm continued paying customers in 2017. According to her, Gerry was in charge of the accounts by then. Eventually, an investigation revealed that Gerry had committed fraud using customer money. He credited fake Quadriga accounts with fake funds but made actual trades by betting on cryptocurrency value. Essentially, Gerry gambled away customer money through trading. According to the authorities, about $169 million of the funds were missing, with five of the six cold wallets used to store the cryptocurrency being empty since April 2018.
Where is Jennifer Robertson Now?
In the aftermath, Jennifer agreed to return $12 million from the estate as part of a settlement. She was allowed to keep money, a car, her wedding band, some jewelry, and shares in Quindraga Fintech, among other things. After Gerry’s death became public, she maintained that the attorneys decided to hold off on announcing it earlier. Regarding speculation that he was still alive, Jennifer said, “I saw Gerry die; I was holding his hand when he passed away. It was a terrible, terrible moment.”
She mostly remained away from the public spotlight apart from interview appearances in January 2022. Jennifer stressed she had no knowledge of her husband’s fraudulent activities and wondered why he did what he did. She was apologetic about people losing their money, saying, “I would have never, ever stolen from other people. And the fact that he did what he did — I carry his shame with me. And I’ll carry that shame with me, probably, every single day for the rest of my life.”
Jennifer now lives in Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada, with her two pet dogs. She is trying to put her life back together and is working as a waitress part-time. Apart from that, Jennifer is studying to become an elementary school teacher and hopes to graduate soon. She has co-authored a book titled ‘Bitcoin Widow: Love, Betrayal and the Missing Millions’ that details her experiences with Gerry.
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