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"‘Crypto King’ Aiden Pleterski Faces Fraud Charges in Canada, Associate Arrested"

"Crypto King" and associate charged with fraud in Canada, misusing $30 million of investor funds on luxury and personal expenses.

By Jack Wilson

5/15, 17:46 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • Aiden Pleterski, dubbed the "Crypto King," and associate Colin Murphy charged in Canada with fraud over $5,000 and laundering.
  • Pleterski allegedly collected C$41.5 million from investors for crypto and forex investments but spent nearly $16 million on luxuries.
  • Only C$3.15 million recovered for investors; Murphy sentenced to five months in jail for contempt of court related to investor lawsuit.

Arrest and Charges

Aiden Pleterski, known as the "Crypto King," and his associate Colin Murphy have been arrested and charged with fraud in Ontario, Canada. Pleterski faces charges of fraud over $5,000 and laundering the proceeds of crime, while Murphy is charged with fraud over $5,000. The arrests followed a 16-month investigation by Durham Regional Police, initiated after receiving numerous complaints about an alleged investment fraud involving Pleterski. The investigation, dubbed Project Swan, also implicated Murphy, who was alleged to have solicited funds from victims under similar pretenses as Pleterski. Pleterski was released on bail with conditions including surrendering his passport and refraining from trading cryptocurrencies.

Financial Misconduct Unveiled

The saga of Pleterski's financial dealings came to light during a bankruptcy proceeding, revealing that he had collected C$41.5 million ($30.5 million) from investors with promises of lucrative returns from cryptocurrency and foreign exchange investments. However, it was discovered that Pleterski had invested only about two percent of these funds, spending nearly $16 million on personal luxuries such as private jets, luxury cars, and vacations. The bankruptcy proceedings managed to recover approximately C$3.15 million for investors. Additionally, Pleterski's lifestyle, including travels to the U.K., Miami, and Australia, was scrutinized, especially as he portrayed himself as a professional streamer online.

Legal and Financial Ramifications

Colin Murphy, Pleterski's associate, faced legal consequences beyond the fraud charges. He was sentenced to five months in jail for contempt of court related to a lawsuit from an investor seeking to recover $120,000. Murphy was found to have deleted data from his iPhone during the execution of an Anton Piller order and was ordered to pay liquidated damages by surrendering valuable assets for sale. Unlike Murphy, Pleterski is protected from civil lawsuits due to his ongoing bankruptcy proceeding. The Ontario Securities Commission and Durham Regional Police Service have scheduled a news conference to discuss the case further.