Nova Scotia

QuadrigaCX founder's widow owns $7.5M in Nova Scotia real estate

Jennifer Robertson is the widow of Gerald Cotten, who died suddenly in India in December, leaving his business in chaos and as much as $180 million of cryptocurrency locked in his encrypted laptop and USB keys.

Records show 16 properties were purchased in last 2½ years

These properties owned by Jennifer Robertson are located on McQuillan Lane in Bedford, N.S. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

The widow of cryptocurrency exchange founder Gerald Cotten, as well as a company registered in her name, own $7.5 million of Nova Scotia real estate that was purchased in the past 2½ years.

J​ennifer Robertson was widowed when Cotten, the founder of QuadrigaCX, died suddenly in India in December, leaving behind a business in chaos and as much as $180 million of cryptocurrency locked in his encrypted laptop and USB keys.

On Tuesday, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge granted Quadriga's request for creditor protection from as many as 115,000 clients who, according to court documents, are owed roughly $250 million.

It's not clear if the Nova Scotia properties will be caught up in the efforts by Quadriga's clients to recoup their losses.

The sudden death of Gerald Cotten, founder of QuadrigaCX, has sent the cryptocurrency exchange into a tailspin with more than $180 million unaccounted for. (Facebook/QuadrigaCX)

Nova Scotia's property registry shows Robertson, her husband and her company bought 16 properties between May 2016 and October 2018, ranging in price from $94,000 for a waterfront lot in Lunenburg County to $2.5 million for nine row houses in Bedford.

The median price for the properties was $346,000. Most of the homes are in metro Halifax.

Twelve properties are currently held by Robertson Nova Property Management Ltd., a company registered to Robertson's home address. She is listed as its president, secretary and sole director.

This property located on Kincross Court in Fall River is for sale. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

In his will, Cotten bequeathed "any interest I may own" in the company to his "spouse's mother Carol Terry, and her spouse, Thomas Beazley."

Two other properties, including Cotten and Robertson's home in Fall River, have been transferred to the Seaglass Trust, which lists Robertson as a trustee. The Seaglass Trust became the mortgage holder on all properties owned by Robertson Nova Property Management on Jan. 25.

Robertson owns two other properties in her own name, including an island in Mahone Bay the couple purchased in September 2017 from Fox News personality Tucker Carlson for $161,250 — well below the island's tax-assessed value of $349,400.

Carlson was identified on the deed as general manager of Island Limited Partnership, registered in Maine. 

Name change

Government records also reveal that Robertson has used three family names.

Deeds for properties she bought in 2016 show she was once known as Jennifer Forgeron. On Dec. 1, 2016, Nova Scotia's Royal Gazette announced she was changing her name from Jennifer Kathleen Margaret Griffith to her current name, Jennifer Kathleen Margaret Robertson.

About the Author

Jack Julian

Reporter

Jack Julian joined CBC Nova Scotia as an arts reporter in 1997. His news career began on the morning of Sept. 3, 1998 following the crash of Swissair 111. He is now a data journalist in Halifax, and you can reach him at (902) 456-9180, by email at jack.julian@cbc.ca or follow him on Twitter @jackjulian

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