A 23-year-old describes himself as the “King of Cryptography” from Whitby, Ont. He allegedly owes at least $35 million to investors, but only about $2 million of his assets have been recovered, including luxury properties such as two McLarens, two BMWs and a Lamborghini, documents show.
More than 150 investors who handed over a collective $20 million to Aiden Pleterski and his company AP Private Equity Limited, which invests in cryptocurrency and foreign exchange, are now working with fraud recovery attorneys. Norman Groot to get their money back.
“It is not clear at this time where that money has gone, although it is clear that a lot of it has to do with his lifestyle,” said Groot, founder of PC investigation lawyerfor CTV National News.
Owning 11 high-end cars, as well as renting several others, Pleterski rented a waterfront home in Burlington for $45,000 a month and owned five or six hours, worth between $200,000 and $400,000, according to a bankruptcy trustee report obtained by CTV National News.
“He was burning a lot of money,” Groot said.
On August 9, the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice declared Pletersky and his company bankrupt.
But only $2.2 million worth of assets were seized, including $32,000 worth of jewelry and personal items, and a list of luxury cars, with the 2018 Lamborghini Huracan reaching a top estimate of $350,000, along with 606 cash and bank drafts. $773.
“The assets available soon after bankruptcy are certainly far less than what is owed to investors,” Rob Stillerwho has been appointed Pleterski’s bankruptcy trustee, told CTV News Toronto.
Young Bill Gates
Each week Pletersky called a “win week,” promising investors five to seven percent of the returns, according to documents from the August 29 creditors’ meeting.
“People bought into it. They thought it was a young Bill Gates,” Grote said.
Despite his young age, Pleterski started investing in cryptocurrency back in 2015, with Article in Forbes magazine It predates his bankruptcy history, indicating his ability to leverage his knowledge as an avid player to understand and thrive in the online trading world.
“A lot of that money was taken away during its escalation in value, and then when it quickly started going downhill in value, people wanted what they thought was their earnings… which, of course, couldn’t pay,” Grote said.
Stelzer said that a number of people alleged that Pletersky ran a Ponzi scheme. “We’re investigating it,” he said.
“We take this very seriously, and we know there are a lot of people out there who owe a lot of money. A lot of these are normal people who invested $25,000, $50,000, $100,000. That’s a lot of money for most people. The team and I will work here at Grant. Thornton is working hard to recover as much of this money as possible and to maximize what is available to creditors.”
CTV News Toronto contacted Pletersky’s attorney several times, but did not receive a response.
At a hypothetical creditors meeting last month, Pletersky claimed he lost all the money he was awarded in late 2021 and early 2022 in a series of “margin calls and bad deals,” according to documents reviewed by CTV News Toronto.
During the meeting, the bankruptcy trustee requested evidence of these bad trades as well as bank statements. The document stated: “So, so far, Plitersky has failed to do this.”
When asked why he kept investing money when he learned it could not be repaid to investors, Plitersky said, “He was 20 years old.”
In response to questions about his bookkeeping, Peltersky said he was “very disorganized” and had “no accounting advice”.
“Everything was transmitted by word of mouth and happened very quickly. He did not keep track of his finances, he did not keep a record of his indebtedness or payments. Plitersky claimed that he and creditors signed contracts via text messages,” according to the minutes of the meeting summarizing Plitersky’s responses on August 29.
In order to track how much money has been delivered to Pleterski and see where it has gone, Stelzer said his team is communicating with financial institutions and identifying bank statements.
“The trustee also acknowledged allegations that the data provided by Plitersky were falsified, which is why the trustee requested direct data from the financial institutions as well,” the minutes of the meeting read.
Of the more than 150 creditors Grote said he spoke to, he said he had not seen anyone with actual trading documents. Groot said investors have records of transferring money, but the question is what happened to her after that.
“You shouldn’t invest in what you don’t understand,” he said. “Anytime you put serious money at risk, someone should do some kind of due diligence, or at least bounce it off a trusted independent person to get a second opinion to make sure you don’t make any move you want to ‘will regret later’.”
With files from Heather Potts of CTV National News.