Omar Dhanani, a co-founder of the Vancouver-based digital exchange Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp., which recently claimed it lost access to $195 million of clients’ cash and cryptocurrencies, has a criminal past that he’s attempted to bury, Bloomberg News reports. Dhanani has legally changed his name twice, in 2003 and in 2008, and is now known as Michael Patryn. Patryn co-founded Quadriga five years ago with the late Gerry Cotten, whose sudden death in India in December at age 30 left the firm in shambles, with 115,000 clients wondering if they’ll ever get their money back. Patryn has been charged with numerous crimes over the years prior to Quadriga’s downfall, Bloomberg reports.
In 2005, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit credit- and bank-card fraud. And in 2007, he admitted to separate criminal cases for burglary, grand larceny, and computer fraud. He served 18 months in U.S. federal prison and was later deported to Canada. Patryn’s criminal past adds a new layer to the mystery surrounding Quadriga, which had bitcoin storage accounts that were reportedly empty for months before Cotten’s death.