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FBI Joins Probe Into Quadriga's $195 Million Crypto Collapse

Doug Alexander and Olga Kharif
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FBI Joins Probe Into Quadriga's $195 Million Crypto Collapse

FBI Joins Probe Into Quadriga's $195 Million Crypto Collapse

(Bloomberg) -- The collapse of Canada’s QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange has sparked an investigation by U.S. agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI, Internal Service Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are conducting an investigation, according to a June 3 statement on the agency’s website.

QuadrigaCX shut down in January following the unexpected death of founder Gerald Cotten, leaving some 115,000 customers out of pocket for about C$260 million ($195 million) in cryptocurrencies and cash. The exchange owner Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp. is now in bankruptcy proceedings in Canada.

Among the questions, the FBI is asking users if they provided identifying information when opening QuadrigaCX accounts and if transfers were done using accounts at U.S.-based financial institutions.

“The FBI and IRS-CI are legally mandated to identify victims of federal crimes that they investigate and provide these victims with information, assistance services, and resources," according to the statement.

The Ontario Securities Commission said in February it was looking into the matters involving QuadrigaCX “given the potential harm to Ontario investors.” Canada’s federal police agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said at the time it was aware of allegations against the exchange but didn’t indicate if it was investigating. The OSC declined to comment Tuesday.

(Updates comments from the Ontario Securities Commission in the last paragraph.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net;Olga Kharif in Portland at okharif@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, ;David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net, Dave Liedtka, Randall Jensen

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