FIVE luxury vehicles have been seized from a so-called “Crypto King” after at least $35million of investor money reportedly vanished, according to legal filings against him.
Two McLarens, two BMWs, and a Lamborghini are among $2million worth of assets seized from the 23-year-old during an investigation into the missing cash.
The cars were seized as creditors work to uncover where $35million given to Aiden Pleterski and his company AP Private Equity for cryptocurrency and foreign exchange investments ended up, CBC Toronto reports.
Diane Moore, 65, told the outlet that she invested about $60,000 that she had set aside for her grandchildren’s education.
The woman said that she met Pleterski through someone she knew for years.
She says she’s now out $50,000.
“The whole thing was based on trust,” Moore told CBC.
“What Aiden has done, I think, is awful — and I don’t know how he can live with himself.”
Moore said that the terms of her investment included a 70-30 profit split with Pleterski getting the lesser amount.
A commitment between the two reportedly said that the initial investment would be paid back in full if it was lost.
“I don’t know if he was ever really trading,” she opined.
“Or was this his plan and it was just the story to get me in along with other people?”
There are 29 creditors, including Moore, who filed a bankruptcy proceeding against Pleterski, according to documents reviewed by CBC filed in two separate actions.
The creditors say they’re owed nearly $13million.
In another lawsuit, another investor who claimed to be missing $4.5million obtained a Mareva injunction, a court order that freezes Pleterski’s assets and bank accounts.
As concerns grew, nearly 140 investors who said they invested collectively $20million responded to a call-out for information from a fraud recovery law firm investigating the “Crypto King.”
“It was a huge surprise, we’ve never had a response like this,” Norman Groot, founder of Investigation Counsel PC, told CBC Toronto.
Documents reveal that Pleterski owned 11 vehicles and leased four other luxury cars.
He reportedly flew on private jets and paid $45,000 a month to rent a lakefront mansion in Burlington, Ontario.
“This guy had a large lifestyle burn rate, but it doesn’t account for the amount of money that’s missing,” Groot said.
Pleterski’s lawyer, Micheal Simaan, wrote in an email to CBC Toronto that many claims against him “have been wildly exaggerated.”
Pleterski invested in cryptocurrency as a teenager and people gave him money to invest once they saw him profiting from it, but he never solicited money, according to his lawyer Micheal Simaan.
“Shockingly, it seems that nobody bothered to consider what would happen if the cryptocurrency market plummeted or whether Aiden, as a very young man, was qualified to handle these types of investments,” Simaan said.
“Aiden has been co-operating with the bankruptcy process and is hopeful that it will work out in the most equitable fashion for everyone involved.”
The U.S. Sun has reached out to Pleterski, his lawyer and Ontario Superior Court Justice Phillip Sutherland for comment.
5 risks of crypto investments
BELOW we round up five risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.
- Consumer protection: Some investments advertising high returns based on cryptoassets may not be subject to regulation beyond anti-money laundering requirements.
- Price volatility: Significant price volatility in cryptoassets, combined with the inherent difficulties of valuing cryptoassets reliably, places consumers at a high risk of losses.
- Product complexity: The complexity of some products and services relating to cryptoassets can make it hard for consumers to understand the risks. There is no guarantee that cryptoassets can be converted back into cash. Converting a cryptoasset back to cash depends on demand and supply existing in the market.
- Charges and fees: Consumers should consider the impact of fees and charges on their investment which may be more than those for regulated investment products.
- Marketing materials: Firms may overstate the returns of products or understate the risks involved.