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Arrested the “Crypto King” of Canada: alleged $30 million Ponzi scheme

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Aiden Pleterski, a 25-year-old Canadian self-proclaimed “Crypto King”, has been arrested along with his 27-year-old associate, Colin Murphy. The two are accused of defrauding investors for a total of 40 million Canadian dollars, approximately 30 million US dollars, through an alleged Ponzi scheme related to investments in cryptocurrencies and the foreign exchange market.

Crypto King: The investigation into the alleged $30 million Ponzi scheme

The investigation, named Project Swan, was conducted by Canadian authorities for over 16 months and led to the charges of fraud and money laundering against Pleterski and Murphy.

Data in hand: between 2021 and 2022, Pleterski and his company, AP Private Equity Limited, raised about 40 million Canadian dollars from around 160 investors, promising profitable investments in cryptocurrencies and exchanges.

Over $16 million of investors’ money spent on luxury items

According to court documents and local media reports, only 2% of the funds have actually been invested! while at least 16 million dollars have been spent by Pleterski to satisfy needs, or perhaps it is more accurate to speak of strictly personal vices. 

The expenses of the young man indeed included the purchase of over 10 luxury cars, international trips, and the rental of a lakefront villa worth 8.4 million dollars at 45,000 dollars per month. During the bankruptcy process, two McLarens, two BMWs, and a Lamborghini were seized.

Pleterski, also known as a streamer, had documented many of his purchases and vacations through online videos.

In one of the videos, Pleterski films himself while assembling a Lego model of the Titanic, then stating that he has spent about 150,000 dollars on Lego sets since 2021.

The kidnapping of the Crypto King for the Ponzi scheme against Canadian investors

Another important piece of the puzzle must be added to this story in order to have a clear and complete picture.

In December 2022, Pleterski was allegedly kidnapped, during which he was beaten and tortured by five of his victims of the alleged Ponzi scheme. The kidnappers held him captive for three days, demanding a ransom of 3 million dollars from his mentor and landlord for his release. 

Pleterski was then released, but a 12-minute video showing him bruised and swollen while apologizing to investors was published on social media. His lawyer later claimed that the video was shot under coercion. 

Four of the alleged kidnappers were later arrested and charged with kidnapping.

Updates on the case

During bankruptcy proceedings, according to a report from CBC, Pleterski had the courage to simply define himself as: “a disorganized twenty-year-old boy”, admitting to not having maintained proper management of his finances or payments. 

Pleterski, however, was released on Tuesday on a $100,000 bail, guaranteed by his parents. The conditions of his freedom include surrendering his passport, a ban on posting on social media about financial matters, and a ban on buying or trading cryptocurrencies.

The Ontario Securities Commission has announced that on Thursday it will provide further details on the case.

 

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