Canada's Einstein Exchange No Longer Has Bulk of Users' Claimed CA$16M: Receiver

The exchange, taken over by a Canadian securities regulator two weeks ago, has just CA$45,000 in crypto and cash left.

Nov 19, 2019 at 12:11 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:43 a.m. UTC

The Einstein cryptocurrency exchange, seized by a Canadian securities regulator two weeks ago, has almost none of its users' funds left.

The interim receiver assigned to oversee the company's finances and take control of any remaining assets, Grant Thornton, said in a report Monday that Einstein now has just CA$45,000 (US$34,000) left of CA$16 million-worth (US$12 million) claimed by users of the exchange, Global News reported on Tuesday.

The remaining "hard assets" are listed by Grant Thornton as around CA$30,000 in fiat and CA$15,000 in cryptocurrency, after “a very limited review of Einstein Groups’s books and records."

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) announced on Nov. 4 that it had filed to take control of Einstein after the exchange said in October it would close within the next two to three months.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia granted the BCSC order and appointed Grant Thornton as interim receiver to take control of the Vancouver-based exchange’s assets. It further authorized the receiver to forcibly enter Einstein’s business premises if necessary, which the receiver did on Nov. 1.

The BCSC had said it received a number of complaints from Einstein customers who said they were unable to access their assets.

Grant Thornton has issued notices to a number of banks in the U.S. and Canada, as well as wealth manager Cannacord Genuity, where the receiver suspects Einstein CEO Michael Ongun Gokturk or his firm may have placed funds, the filing indicates. The accounting firm has further seized shares in private companies and is investigating whether Einstein's CEO or others have interests in various accounts, Global News writes.

Einstein Group has told Grant Thornton it estimates the sums owed to customers as being between US$8 million and $10 million.

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