‘Crypto King’ Narrowly Avoids Arrest By Turning Cell Phones Into Bankruptcy Proceedings
The self-proclaimed “Crypto King” from Whitby, Ontario has been nearly arrested twice in the past two months for failing to comply with bankruptcy proceedings against him and his company from 119 creditors who claim that ‘they owe over $25 million.
The bankruptcy trustee investigating what happened to the millions creditors gave Aiden Pleterski to invest took the ‘extraordinary remedy’ of seeking warrants for the 23-year-old’s arrest after he was failed to hand over his cellphones and other devices as ordered, according to recently released reports from trustee Grant Thornton Ltd.
It was only on the eve of these warrants being issued in September and earlier this month that Pleterski provided what was required at the “last minute”.
The reports also show how the scope of the bankruptcy investigation extended to the recovery of family assets from Pleterski and others – including a Porsche, Bentley and other luxury vehicles – including the trustee discovered that they had been paid by Pleterski using funds from investors.
Pleterski also appears to have sought out the property of the Burlington, Ont., mansion, which he was renting for $45,000 a month, according to trustee reports.
More and more creditors are coming forward.
“Some of the stories of the impact the losses caused by Pleterski’s alleged actions are having on creditors are heartbreaking,” writes Rob Stelzer, senior vice president of Grant Thornton, in the report.
Creditors gave Pleterski money to invest in cryptocurrency and currencies. Investment terms often involved a 70-30 capital gains split between the investor and Pleterski, a commitment that the initial investment would be refunded in full if lost, and target capital gains of 10 to 20% every two weeks, according to court documents and investor contracts.
Pleterski’s attorney, Micheal Simaan, previously told CBC Toronto that his client disputes many of the claims against him and Pleterski believes the financial claims of many people who gave him money “have been grossly exaggerated.” CBC Toronto contacted Simaan about the latest developments via email Tuesday, but he declined to comment.
At a meeting of creditors in August, the trustee said Pleterski claimed he lost most of the money given to him in late 2021 and early 2022 “in a series of margin calls and bad trades. “. Asked about his record keeping for investment funds, Pleterski told the meeting that he was very disorganized, did not monitor his finances, and did not keep any records of his debts or payments. .
Last month, a CBC Toronto investigation found how the young man, dubbed “the Crypto King” in several paid promotional articles, led a luxurious life before investors came for their money earlier this year. At the time, records showed Pleterski owned 11 vehicles, leased four other luxury cars, flew private jets and paid $45,000 a month to rent a lakeside mansion in Burlington, Ontario.
“This guy had a high consumption rate, but that doesn’t take into account how much money is missing,” fraud-fighting lawyer Norman Groot previously told CBC Toronto.
Two McLarens, two BMWs and a Lamborghini were just a few of the $2 million in assets previously seized by the trustee.
The Pleterski family driving luxury vehicles
The new reports detail more undisclosed assets discovered by the trustee, including jewelry and five luxury vehicles linked to Pleterski’s family. The cars include a Porsche Boxster and an Audi e-tron driven by Pleterski’s mother, an Audi S5 driven by Pleterski’s brother, and a BMW M8 and a Bentley Bentayga driven by Pleterski’s father.
Investigators are also looking into the property of the lakeside mansion where Pleterski lived. According to a report, the trustee confirmed that Pleterski entered into a buy, sell and lease agreement with a numbered company owned by Sunray Group of Hotels for the Burlington, Ontario property.
The trustee discovered that Pleterski had transferred a McLaren Senna with a potential market value of $1.5 million to Sunray Group of Hotels as security for the lease-purchase agreement for the lakeside mansion.
Since the CBC Toronto survey was released last month, the number of investors in the bankruptcy proceeding has risen from 29 claiming $13 million to nearly 120 creditors who say they owe more than $25 million.
Bankruptcy is unlikely to recover all investments
Going forward, the trustee is seeking court orders to combine the bankruptcies of Pleterski and his company, to order multiple banks to provide additional information about Pleterski’s banking transactions, and to compel car dealerships to provide financial records on the vehicles driven by Pleterski’s family. Those issues will be before the court later this week.
Pleterski investors also face a November 22 deadline to prove how much they are owed in the bankruptcy proceedings. However, the trustee said in a letter to creditors that nothing is expected to be paid until at least next year and that there will be losses.
“Creditors should be warned that any dividends paid will be well below the amounts owed to them.”