An alleged crypto “prodigy” from Canada who bilked clients out of millions of dollars was reportedly kidnapped and then tortured late last year.
According to various reports, 24-year-old self-described “crypto king” Aiden Pleterski collected AT LEAST $40/$41.5 million from clients that he was then supposed to invest into cryptocurrency and the foreign exchange market.
But instead of investing the money, he spent at least 38 percent — nearly $16 million — on living the high life, as seen below via his Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
Meanwhile, he invested only $670,000 of the money.
“Aiden ran a business in which he told people he would invest their money and that’s not what happened. He really didn’t do what he said he was going to do,” Rob Stelzer, who was appointed the bankruptcy trustee on this case, told CTV News.
And that evidently infuriated some of his victims, who sometime last year reportedly kidnapped the 24-year-old and proceeded to beat and torture him.
“He was taken. They basically held him for approximately three days, drove him around different, various parts of southern Ontario, beat him, tortured him, allowed him to make specific phone calls to specific people only. I was not one of those people that he was allowed to contact,” Pleterski’s father testified in court in December.
He was allowed to contact his landlord, who reportedly testified in court that Pleterski asked him to make a $3 million ransom payment.
The landlord was at a loss at how to respond.
“I said, ‘There’s absolutely nothing that I can do,'” he testified in court.
Pleterski was eventually released days later by his landlord’s home on the condition that he come up with the money his kidnappers wanted ASAP. It’s not exactly clear what has happened since.
All this was revealed in a newly released trustee report from bankruptcy proceedings currently being held against Pleterski.
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the report states that Pleterski’s business started to go under when the cryptocurrency market crashed in the fall of 2021.
Desperate to get his clients’ money back, the young investor started taking overly aggressive positions and losing even more money.
“In doing so, I guess you could say greed took over, and I was taking very aggressive positions, and I was trying to make returns that obviously weren’t feasible or weren’t necessarily possible at the time, and it just caused more losses,” he reportedly said.
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In addition to losing his clients’ money, he also spent much of it.
“[H]e spent nearly $16 million on extravagant cars, private jets, and elaborate vacations that equated to approximately 38 per cent of the money he raised from investors, according to a banking analysis in the new report,” according to CTV News.
“Pleterski drove more than 10 sports cars, court documents allege. Among the collection, he owned a McLaren Senna, a very rare, limited-production supercar originally purchased for $1.6 million in September 2021.”
He also owned two lavish properties, including one worth $5.5 million that he paid a $500,000 deposit for, and another that he also paid a $500,000 deposit for.
Stelzer, the bankruptcy trustee, has said that he believes both properties should be sold so that at least some of Pleterski’s clients can be paid off.
“In the [trustee] report, he listed reasons to justify this stance, which highlighted these properties were ‘funded by investor funds whose money was used by Pleterski in an unauthorized manner,'” CTV News notes.
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Pleterski’s parents are reportedly also in some trouble, as they made at least $1.1 million from their son’s fraudulent business.
According to his parents’ lawyer, Gary Caplan, the two have therefore agreed to a settlement agreement.
“In cooperation with the bankruptcy proceedings, the parents have agreed to return two vehicles – an Audi S5 and Volkswagen Atlas – with a market value in excess of $100,000 to the trustee. That goes alongside paying $812,000 on or before June 30,” CTV News notes.
As for Pleterski, his stuff was reportedly seized as far back as September.
“Among the assets seized from the 23-year-old Whitby, Ontario, native include two McLarens, two BMWs, and Lamborghini. Investors also asked about a Patek Philippe watch that he claims he never owned. Pleterski maintains ‘he has never owned a watch with a value greater than $600,000,'” Complex magazine reported at the time.
However, he reportedly refused to give up everything and was almost arrested for it.
“A self-described ‘crypto king’ from Ontario was almost arrested twice after the 23-year-old refused to hand over his diamond-studded Rolex, Audi and cell phone to a bankruptcy trustee,” CTV News reported.
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