Canadian Province Asks QuadrigaCX Co-Founder to Explain His Wealth in New Order

This is the third test for the Province's new tool to combat money laundering

AccessTimeIconMar 28, 2024 at 7:55 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 28, 2024 at 7:58 a.m. UTC
  • QuadrigaCX co-founder Michael Patryn is the target of an unexplained wealth order by the Canadian Province of British Columbia.
  • This tool is relatively novel, and Patryn has contested the claim, with his counsel calling it unconstitutional

The Canadian Province of British Columbia is seeking to use an unexplained wealth order, a new type of court order that compels a person to explain how they acquired their assets, to target the co-founder of QuadrigaCX, Michael Patryn.

“Today, we have filed our third unexplained wealth order application with the British Columbia Supreme Court,” Mike Farnworth, the Province’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said in a statement. “The international, criminal actions of QuadrigaCX led to thousands of people losing their life savings.”

(British Columbia Supreme Court)
(British Columbia Supreme Court)

The order was used to seize a safety deposit box at CIBC Bank as well as an account. The safety deposit box contained C$250,200 ($184,250) in cash, gold bars, two Rolex watches, a Chanel J12 Black Diamond watch, and other jewelry. A 45-caliber Ruger 1911 pistol with ammunition was also found in the box, as well as identity documents under the names of Omar Dhanani and Omar Patryn, the Order says.

The Order argues that Patryn was heavily involved in all aspects of QuadrigaCX’s operation, including missapropriating customer funds and cryptocurrency, justifying the seizure of goods. After the seizure, the next step is to compel a response from Patryn to explain his wealth. He filed a response to the order, arguing that the goods seized were not acquired by unlawful means.

“The investigation was conducted in such a manner that, and evidence was obtained during the investigation in such a manner that breached the Defendants’ rights as guaranteed by the Charter (Canada’s constitution),” Patryn’s counsel wrote.

Other targets of B.C.'s unexplained wealth orders have also argued in court that they are unconstitutional given the reverse onus of having to explain the source of wealth.

Post the collapse of QuadrigaCX, Patryn has had a second career in decentralized finance (DeFi), being involved in a number of protocols, including Wonderland and another called UwU Lend, under the handle "Sifu.” It is believed that Patryn resides in Thailand.

Patryn was ousted from his role in Wonderland after community members doxxed him, then ran a public vote to oust him from his role as treasurer, securing 87.56% votes.

Prosecutors will appear in court on April 30 to make the application. The QuadrigaCX bankruptcy concluded last May, with claimants getting 13 cents on the dollar.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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