Whitby’s ‘Crypto King’ charged with fraud, money laundering

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Published May 15, 2024 at 1:49 pm

Whitby's 'Crypto King' investigation the largest fraud case in Durham history: Chief

Whitby’s self-described “Crypto King” has been charged with fraud and money laundering after a nearly year-and-a-half investigation.

On May 15, 2024, police announced they had charged Aiden Pleterski, 25, of Whitby, with fraud over $5,000 and money laundering. He remains in custody until a bail hearing.

Pleterski has been under investigation for investment fraud since July 2022.

He first made headlines when he and his shell company, AP Private Equity, faced nearly 30 lawsuits from creditors trying to recoup $35 million.

Pleterski began investing family and friends’ money in cryptocurrencies over the pandemic, quickly finding success. He soon expanded his client list to include up 140 investors from around the GTA.

However, investors and fraud investigators allege Pleterski was conducting a Ponzi scheme, taking money from later investors and using it to pay out earlier ones.

They further allege he skimmed a great deal of money off the top to fund a $45,000 per month rented house in Burlington, numerous luxury cars and high-end watches and jewelry.

At that time, investors were only able to recover about $2 million in goods, including Lamborgini and McLaren luxury cars.

He reappeared on the front page in December 2022 when, according to Toronto Police, he was abducted by five creditors who allegedly held him hostage for three days. 

During this time, they allegedly beat and tortured Pleterski and fired a gun near him. After he and his family’s lives were threatened, police claimed, he was released in Toronto.

The kidnappers allegedly forced a confession tape from Pleterski before his release in which he apologized to his creditors. The video emerged in July 2023.

During the most recent investigation, police also identified a second suspect with similar allegations against him. They allege Colin Murphy, 27, “claimed to be generating large weekly profits through savvy investments.”

Police allege investors gave Murphy large sums of money, expecting large profits in exchange. However, investigators claim they have since been unable to collect this promised return on investment.

Murphy is charged with fraud over $5,000. He was later released from custody.

More details of the case will be released in a police press conference in Whitby on May 16.

Anyone with information about these cases can call police 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5353, the Ontario Security Commissions at 1-877-785-1555 or CrimeStoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

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