‘King of Crypto’ Refused to Hand Over Diamond-Encrusted Rolex, Audi in Bankruptcy Proceedings

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A self-proclaimed Ontario “crypto king” was almost arrested twice after the 23-year-old refused to hand over his diamond-encrusted Rolex, Audi and cellphone to a trustee in bankruptcy.

These new details were released Friday in a report by the bankruptcy trustee that outlines efforts over the past two months to recover at least $25 million Aiden Pleterski would have 119 investors.

“I have been doing this kind of work for more than 15 years and I have never made this kind of request. Rob StelzerPleterski’s trustee in bankruptcy and senior vice president of Grant Thornton Ltd, told CTV News Toronto after asking the court to arrest Pleterski.

He said this “extraordinary remedy” was necessary to deal with Pleterski’s alleged lack of cooperation since the Ontario Superior Court of Justice declared him bankrupt on August 9.

“He was driving a car with a market value of $150,000 that he had not provided to the trustee, he had not provided the trustee with a diamond-encrusted Rolex that he admitted to having in his possession,” a- he declared.

“We would not have obtained these assets had we not gone back to court and requested his arrest, as he had provided the two assets just prior to the court appearance.”

The night before Pleterski appeared in court, he conceded and surrendered his Audi RSQ8 and his Rolex, while arranging for the delivery of his phone, according to the report.

Pleterski’s attorney, Michael Simaan, told CTV News Toronto that his client disputed much of what was alleged in court and called investors’ financial claims “grossly exaggerated”.

“While Aiden’s past compliance is far from perfect, he is currently cooperating with the bankruptcy trustee,” Simaan said.

“Aiden told the court that some of the compliance delays you referred to were due to Aiden filing his phone with the bankruptcy trustee, which then blocked him from accessing his Gmail messages. or telephone,” he added.

So far, only $2 million of the at least $25 million he owes investors has been recovered.

The amount Pleterski should have soared since the investigation began in August, when that figure was $13 million.

Simaan said that despite Pleterski’s very young age, people started giving him money once they saw how much he was earning for himself in cryptocurrency investments.

“When the cryptocurrency market was down, Aiden continued to receive hundreds of thousands of unsolicited funds. Although he could have used those funds, he felt it would be irresponsible to do so because this money would have been lost in the market, instead he held those funds and waited for the market to rebound,” Simaan said.

“Then when the bankruptcy process began, he immediately turned those funds over to the trustee in bankruptcy.”

MORE ASSETS DISCOVERED

As the investigation progressed, trustees in bankruptcy uncovered five luxury cars registered to various family members that Pleterski had paid for with creditor funds, the report said.

This includes a Porsche Boxter and Audi e-tron registered to his mother’s name, an Audi S5 driven by Pleterski’s brother, and a BMW M8 and Bentley Bentayga linked to his father’s name.

Bankruptcy trustees are also in the process of recovering an Audi A4 previously owned by Pleterski’s former girlfriend, Mya Patricia Trentadue.

“The trustee understands that Ms. Trentadue may also be in possession of luxury handbags, designer clothes and jewelry that were purchased for her by Pleterski,” the report said.

Trentadue did not respond to the trustee or CTV News Toronto.

The new report also reveals Pleterski was open to buying a Burlington, Ont. mansion he previously rented for $45,000 a month and handed over his McLaren Senna, which may have a market value of over $1.5 million, as collateral to Sunray Group of Hotels.

The home was on the market for $8.2 million in a 2020 real estate listing obtained by CTV National News.

A video tour of the gated home hosted by realtors the following year shows the “ultra-private” estate with 100 feet of waterfront and a private dock on Lake Ontario.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Audi and Porsche dealerships in Durham, Ont., as well as a car dealership that sold the Bentley Bentayga, are refusing to release purchase information about the cars Pleterski allegedly bought from his family members, according to the report from the trustee.

Bankruptcy trustees said they were also at a standstill in obtaining financial documents. The banks, the Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, provided bank statements, but they lack relevant details, Stelzer says.

For example, he said bank records in his possession show that a wire transfer worth, say, $50,000 was sent on a specific date, but no indication of who received the money.

“We’ll be able to see who was receiving the money…it might give us some clues as to where Aiden’s money has been hiding,” he said.

To address the denials, Stelzer said it will seek a court order on Friday to release information about the purchase of the vehicles registered in the family members’ names, as well as information from the banks about the affected transactions.

“We are going to be in court in two days, hopefully we get all the relief we are looking for. When we get those bank statements, there will be a lot of work going through the statements, figuring out where the money went,” Stelzer said.

He said the money they collect is unlikely to be distributed until next year and the amount returned to investors is likely to be worth much less than what is owed to them.

“In some cases people have invested most of their savings with Aiden and it seems like he’s spoken of a really good game. I can understand in an environment where interest rates were low and a person feels comfortable with the amount of his savings, investing in something like this that promises big returns, I can definitely understand how people got into this situation.

With files from Adrian Ghobrial of CTV National News.

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