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Self-proclaimed 'crypto king' solicited investments as recently as February



In the Greater Toronto Area, police have charged a man who called himself the "crypto king" with fraud and money laundering. Aiden Pleterski, 25, along with his 27-year-old associate, was charged with fraud over $5,000, and Pleterski also faces a charge of laundering proceeds of crime. 


Durham Region Police Chief Peter Moreira announced that Pleterski continued to solicit investments as recently as February. The police launched an investigation named Project Swan after receiving complaints in July 2022 about an investment scam that promised large weekly profits through "savvy investments."


Chief Moreira emphasized that the investigation was "extremely thorough," involving numerous interviews, over 40 court orders to gather evidence, a large number of alleged victims, and the analysis of thousands of financial documents.


Bankruptcy filings related to Pleterski reveal that he allegedly received $41.5 million from investors but only invested 1.6 percent of the funds. Instead, he reportedly spent $15.9 million on exotic vehicles, private jet rentals, and other luxuries. The trustee's report mentioned that about $431,000 had been recovered from his bank accounts.


Stephen Henkel, a senior investigator for the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which participated in the investigation, stated that the alleged fraud was massive and spanned several jurisdictions. He also noted that neither Pleterski nor his associate was registered "in any capacity" with the OSC and were not authorized to trade securities or provide investment advice.


Henkel stressed the importance of verifying the registration of anyone offering investment opportunities. "It is critical that all those considering whether to purchase digital assets or any investment product first check whether the person or the business they deal with is registered with Canadian securities regulators," he advised.


Moreira and Henkel urged anyone who might have been a victim of Pleterski, his associate, or their company, AP Private Equity, to contact the police.


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