The whereabouts of the B.C. man behind an alleged $13-million cryptocurrency fraud remain a mystery as a hearing into the collapse of his bitcoin exchange considers evidence he gambled away customers’ money.

A lawyer for David Smillie, founder of the defunct Nanaimo-based ezBtc platform, told a panel of the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) that his client was somewhere abroad, too broke to pay legal fees and suffering from an unspecified illness as Smillie’s hearing began Tuesday.