Canada’s ‘Crypto King’ and Associate Arrested, Charged With Fraud in Alleged $30M Ponzi Scheme

Canada’s ‘Crypto King’ and Associate Arrested, Charged With Fraud in Alleged $30M Ponzi Scheme

Canadian authorities have arrested and charged two men in connection with an alleged $30 million USD Ponzi scheme involving cryptocurrencies and foreign exchange investments. Aiden Pleterski, known as the “Crypto King,” was charged with fraud and money laundering, while his associate Colin Murphy was charged with fraud. The charges were filed following a 16-month investigation known as Project Swan.

According to court documents, Pleterski and his company, AP Private Equity Limited, received around $30 million USD from approximately 160 investors between 2021 and 2022. However, it was discovered that Pleterski only invested 2% of the money, using the rest for personal expenses. He spent millions on luxury cars, travel, and a lakefront mansion.

Pleterski gained attention through social media by posting videos of his extravagant lifestyle, showcasing expensive vehicles and detailing his lavish expenditures. The bankruptcy trustee overseeing the case revealed that Pleterski had purchased multiple luxury cars, including two McLarens, two BMWs, and a Lamborghini, which were seized during the bankruptcy process.

In addition to the fraud charges, Pleterski also faced an alleged kidnapping in December 2022. Five victims of the Ponzi scheme reportedly abducted, beat, and tortured him, demanding a $3 million ransom for his release. Pleterski was eventually freed but appeared bruised and swollen in a video apologizing to investors, which his lawyer claimed was coerced.

It has been a high-profile case, with Toronto-born NBA player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander even getting involved. Gilgeous-Alexander purchased the mansion previously owned by Pleterski but later filed a lawsuit to back out of the purchase due to its connection with the fraud case. There were also reports of threats to burn down the property.

As for Pleterski’s next steps, he was released on bail, which was set at $100,000 CAD and paid by his parents. Conditions of his bail include surrendering his passport, refraining from discussing financial matters on social media, and abstaining from buying or trading cryptocurrencies.

The Ontario Securities Commission has indicated that it will provide further information on the case soon.