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How a 25-year-old from Oshawa created a crypto kingdom before it all came crashing down

It’s been more than two years since the house of cards carefully crafted by Ontario’s so-called “crypto king” came crashing down in the form of a bankruptcy worth north of $40 million.

He’s been kidnapped and tortured in that time, but he’s also back to worldwide jet setting and burning rubber in extravagant sports cars without a single criminal charge in connection to the scheme restricting his movements.

Here’s a look at how these developments have unraveled and what could be coming next for the 25-year-old:

August 2022

On Aug. 9, 2022, Aiden Pleterski, a 23-year-old so-called “crypto king” from Whitby, Ont., was declared bankrupt by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

But only $2.2 million of assets were seized, including two McLarens, two BMWs and a Lamborghini, despite allegedly owing at least $35 million to more than 150 investors.

October 2022

A bankruptcy trustee report published in October 2022 detailed Pleterski was almost arrested twice for refusing to hand over a diamond-studded Rolex, Audi and cell phone.

Aiden Pleterski is seen standing beside a Lamborghini in an image posted on social media.

Court documents allege Pleterski’s associate, 26-year-old Colin Murphy, was operating his own fraud scam parallel to the multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

December 2022

In early December 2022, Pleterski was allegedly abducted from downtown Toronto, tortured and beaten for about three days as his kidnappers looked to solicit millions in ransom.

Aiden Pleterski, a self-described crypto king from Whitby, Ont., is seen after a kidnapping (left) and in a prior image on a private jet (right).

July 2023

On July 17, four people were arrested for kidnapping and torturing Pleterski, including a 39-year-old Toronto man who had invested more than $740,000, court documents show. Video emerged of Pleterski apologizing to investors while battered and bruised during the kidnapping. It’s unclear if he was under duress while the footage was taken or where the video was recorded.

The investor who sunk $740,000 into Pleterski’s operation and allegedly kidnapped Pleterski asserted his innocence and has been released on bail for $10,000.

Akil Heywood (left) and Aiden Pleterski (right) seen in undated photos (Supplied/ Instagram).

On July 21, a fifth suspect was charged in connection with the December kidnapping of Pleterski.

Another feeder fund that funneled $4 million to Pleterski, based in Chatham, Ont., is uncovered when a 31-year-old mother launches a class action lawsuit alleging Banknote Capital operated a close to $14 million Ponzi scheme.

Banknote Capital’s Ryan Rumble (left) and self-described ‘crypto king’ Aiden Pleterski (right).

September 2023

Pleterski starts travelling the world on mystery money in September, venturing as far as Australia, despite his status as a bankrupt 25-year-old who allegedly operated a large scale investment scam.

December 2023

A judge rules in favour of an NBA player who bought the $8M Burlington mansion previously occupied by Pleterski after receiving threats from people looking for the so-called crypto king – ultimately nullifying the purchase of the house.

In December, an Ontario judge ordered the arrest of Pleterski’s Chatham associate, Ryan Rumble, after he refused to surrender his passport and claimed he fled to Dubai instead.

Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was named to Canada’s 12-man roster for the team’s World Cup qualifying game Thursday night against Argentina. The Oklahoma City Thunder guard is shown at the FIBA international men’s World Cup basketball qualifying action against Dominican Republic, in Hamilton, Ont., Friday, July 1, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

February 2024

On February 2, 2024, the first criminal charge was laid in connection with Pleterski’s alleged Ponzi scheme. Colin Murphy, 27, was declared in contempt of court, and ordered to repay $120,000 to an investor.

A video presented as evidence in court showed Murphy refusing to surrender an iPhone after hiding it in a toilet caddy during a court ordered search last January.

Colin Murphy walks out of an Oshawa courthouse while W5’s Avery Haines asks him questions about an upcoming sentencing.

In a W5 exclusive on Feb. 3, an investor who handed Pleterski $75,000 said she does not believe Pleterski is the mastermind orchestrating the investment scheme synonymous with his name.

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