A Canadian self-proclaimed “crypto king,” who allegedly defrauded investors out of millions, was kidnapped, tortured, and held for a multi-million-dollar ransom.
Aiden Pleterski, a 23-year-old accused of running a crypto investment scheme, was allegedly abducted from downtown Toronto and driven around southern Ontario for about three days by kidnappers demanding at least $3 million in ransom, court documents filed earlier this month claim.
Details of the abduction were revealed in court papers and transcripts from court examinations with Pleterski’s father and landlord, with whom he was able to talk via mobile phone while in the custody of kidnappers.
“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,” his father said.
Pleterski contacted his landlord and asked for $3 million while held captive. “I said, ‘There’s absolutely nothing that I can do,’” his landlord said in court after Pleterski asked him to pay the multi-million-dollar ransom.
According to the documents, Pleterski was eventually released by the kidnappers near his landlord’s residence on the condition he came up with the money fast.
Pleterski’s Crypto Investment Scheme
The court papers, released on March 14, also shed more light on Pleterski’s crypto investing business, in which he told investors he would pool their money together and invest it in cryptocurrency and foreign exchange positions.
However, the so-called “crypto king” invested less than 2% of the more than $40 million handed to him, according to the court filings.
He spent nearly 38%, almost $16 million, on his “personal lifestyle,” which involved renting private jets, going on elaborate vacations, and purchasing exotic vehicles, such as “a Ferrari, four Audis, three Lamborghinis, three McLarens, a Land Rover, and a BMW.”
Last August, Pleterski was petitioned into bankruptcy. Since bankruptcy proceedings began, $25 million Canadian worth of claims has been filed in his case.
“Aiden ran a business in which he told people he would invest their money and that’s not what happened,” Rob Stelzer, appointed bankruptcy trustee on the case, told CTV News Toronto. “He really didn’t do what he said he was going to do.”
Stelzer added that he expects more people to file claims against Pleterski.
Meanwhile, in his testimony, Pleterski said he started to take losses in 2021 after the crypto markets started retracing from their all-time highs. He claimed that he wanted to make investors whole but his losses kept mounting due to bad market conditions.
“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 said.
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