Ontario crypto king kidnapped, tortured in an attempt to get millions in ransom, documents say
Ontario’s self-described crypto king was abducted, tortured, and beaten for days as his kidnappers looked to solicit millions in ransom, his father told a court in December.
New documents, obtained by CTV News Toronto, include details of the December incident where Aiden Pleterski was allegedly abducted from downtown Toronto and driven around southern Ontario for about three days.
The nearly 750-page report, released on March 14, also contains the latest findings in a months-long pursuit to trace millions of dollars invested into cryptocurrency and foreign exchange with the 23-year-old before he was petitioned into bankruptcy.
The documents allege Pleterski invested less than two per cent of the more than $40 million handed to him. Instead, he allegedly spent nearly 38 per cent, almost $16 million, on luxury cars, private jets, and elaborate vacations.
“Aiden ran a business in which he told people he would invest their money and that's not what happened,” Rob Stelzer, appointed bankruptcy trustee on the case, told CTV News Toronto. “He really didn't do what he said he was going to do.”
CTV News Toronto made multiple attempts to contact Pleterski’s lawyer but received no response.
THE ALLEGED KIDNAPPING
In early December, Stelzer told CTV News Toronto he was informed by Toronto police that Pleterski had been kidnapped.
“I mean, obviously, he owes a lot of people a lot of money,” Stelzer said.
Transcripts from court examinations with Pleterski’s father and landlord, reviewed by CTV News Toronto, reveal more details about how the alleged kidnapping unfolded.
“He was taken. They basically held him for approximately three days, drove him around different, various parts of southern Ontario, beat him, tortured him, allowed him to make specific phone calls to specific people only. I was not one of those people that he was allowed to contact,” Pleterski’s father told a courtroom in December.
However, one of the people Pleterski was said to have been allowed to call was his landlord, who said in court that Pleterski asked him for $3 million as a ransom payment.
“I received multiple calls from Aiden, but it was late at night … and then at around 1:30 a.m., I finally had enough, and I picked up the call,” his landlord said in court on Feb. 9.
Pleterski said he had no one else to call, according to his landlord. “I said, ‘There's absolutely nothing that I can do.’”
The court heard that, days later, Pleterski was released by the kidnappers near his landlord’s residence. His release was on the condition he came up with the money fast, according to court documents.
There were no further updates on Pleterski’s release included in the bankruptcy report.
A spokesperson for Toronto police told CTV News Toronto they could not confirm any information that would identify a victim or witness in relation to the investigation. Officers did not provide information on the suspected kidnapper or on the status of arrests made in connection to the case.
SPORTS CARS AND PRIVATE JETS
According to court documents, Pleterski told investors he would increase the value of their money, but in actuality, more than 98 per cent of the money he collected was never invested.
Instead, he spent nearly $16 million on extravagant cars, private jets, and elaborate vacations that equated to approximately 38 per cent of the money he raised from investors, according to a banking analysis in the new report.
Pleterski drove more than 10 sports cars, court documents allege. Among the collection, he owned a McLaren Senna, a very rare, limited-production supercar originally purchased for $1.6 million in September 2021.
CTV National News: 'Crypto king' declared bankrupt
The latest documents also detail two properties Pleterski allegedly sunk investor funds into — one in Ajax, Ont. worth $5.5 million, supported by a $500,000 deposit, and another in Burlington, Ont. where he put down a deposit totalling $500,000.
In Stelzer’s view, as the bankruptcy trustee, both properties should be sold and the funds should be returned to investors. In the report, he listed reasons to justify this stance, which highlighted these properties were “funded by investor funds whose money was used by Pleterski in an unauthorized manner.”
Pleterski’s parents said they believed their son was operating a successful investment business, court documents show.
“I knew when he was in high school, he was playing games upstairs on his computer just like any other teenager,” Pleterski’s father said in his cross-examination in December, detailed in a transcript included in the new report.
“But at some point, you became aware that he was trading in cryptocurrency?” the trustee’s lawyer said.
“At some point, yes,” Pleterski’s father replied.
According to Stelzer’s calculations, Pleterski’s parents allegedly benefited more than $1.1 million from their son’s scheme.
Gary Caplan, the lawyer representing the Pleterski parents, told CTV News Toronto he could not comment on the case because it is currently before the courts. However, Caplan pointed to a settlement agreement that has commenced between the Pleterski parents and the trustee.
In cooperation with the bankruptcy proceedings, the parents have agreed to return two vehicles – an Audi S5 and Volkswagen Atlas – with a market value in excess of $100,000 to the trustee. That goes alongside paying $812,000 on or before June 30.
Meanwhile, Stelzer said he believes there are still more people out there who lost money in Pleterski’s alleged scheme who have yet to come forward.
“We know $41 million came into the account net. We know only $25 million have filed claims. You can do the math,” he said.
“They should reach out … and get the claim filed. The only way they can participate in a dividend is by doing it.”
Toronto Top Stories
consumer, | Toronto woman 'horrified' after losing $95,000 to romance scam
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Wildfire battles continue under heat, air quality alerts over most of Canada
The battle against hundreds of wildfires continues, as almost every jurisdiction in Canada remains under either heat or air quality warnings from the federal government. The day after what was supposed to be national Clean Air Day, dozens of alerts remain in place for unseasonable heat or smoky air quality.
Can face masks help protect you from wildfire smoke? Health expert explains
An official recommendation to wear a mask to protect yourself from wildfire smoke is being echoed by health experts as plumes of smoke make their way across parts of Canada, causing poor air quality.
Supporters focus on freeing Canadian held in China amid geopolitical 'ups and downs'
A leader of the fight to secure freedom for a Canadian human-rights activist detained in China for 17 years is taking the latest diplomatic deep-freeze between Ottawa and Beijing in stride.
Documents reveal what happened inside the discord at Canada's drug-price regulator
Internal emails from the agency tasked with regulating the price of patented drugs in Canada shows discord and division was sparked by a letter from the health minister, culminating in an indefinite pause on major drug-price reforms and several resignations.
Experts worry about Canadian water bomber expertise with rising demand, aging fleets
Aviation experts say Canada is losing expertise in the manufacturing of water bombers -- just as demand for them is increasing. The Canadair CL-415, a purpose-built water bomber, was last produced in 2015.
Calgary mass killer Matthew de Grood seeks 'absolute discharge'
The man who was found not criminally responsible in the stabbing deaths of five people at a house party in Brentwood more than nine years ago is seeking more freedoms.
RBC Canadian Open teeing off amid controversy in golf world
Some of the world's top players are teeing off at the RBC Canadian Open today amid the hotly debated LIV Golf-PGA Tour controversy that shook the golf world this week.
Knife attacker injures several people, including children, in French Alpine town
An attacker with a knife stabbed several young children and at least one adult, leaving some with life-threatening injuries, in a bucolic lakeside park in a town in the French Alps on Thursday before he was arrested, authorities said.
Philippines raises alert level around volcano, villagers told to leave danger zone
Philippine officials on Thursday raised the alert level for one of the country's most active volcanoes after superheated streams of gas, debris and rocks cascaded down its upper slope in a condition they fear could lead to a hazardous eruption within days or weeks.
Dr. Horacio Arruda returns as new assistant deputy health minister
The man in the spotlight during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec, Dr. Horacio Arruda, has been appointed assistant deputy minister at the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Hundreds of American firefighters arrive in Canada to help battle wildfires
Hundreds of American firefighters have recently arrived in Canada to help battle wildfires and more are on the way, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.
Ontario man charged with first-degree murder in killing of Claudia Iacono outside Montreal salon
An Ontario man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Claudia Iacono, the daughter-in-law of Mafia associate Moreno Gallo, after she was gunned down at the wheel of her car in Montreal last month.
Air quality statement in effect, thunderstorms possible this afternoon
According to CTV News London’s Meteorologist Julie Atchison, a large area of low pressure over the Canadian Maritimes and a blocking ridge over central North America is allowing a steady flow of northerly air to usher in smoke from forest fires in Northern Ontario and Quebec.
VIDEO | 'Hate and discrimination have no place in any TVDSB schools': Investigation underway after pride flag torn down
Students at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School in London, Ont. are being investigated after a video was posted online showing students tearing down a LGBTQ2S+ pride flag.
City pitches new parking garage and extended free parking to aid downtown London, Ont.’s recovery
Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honk Mobile Parking App has offered two hours of free municipal parking in London’s core area business districts.
Poor air quality in Waterloo region and Guelph will continue into the weekend: Environment Canada
There's high levels of air pollution in Waterloo region and Wellington County as smoke plumes from wildfires burning in Quebec and northeastern Ontario continue to blow into the region, Environment Canada says.
Where to watch Kitchener's Jamal Murray play in NBA Finals
Kitchener is hosting a series of watch parties to cheer on basketball star Jamal Murray as his Denver Nuggets take on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Six Region of Waterloo councillors announce support for amalgamation
One unified city – that’s what six Region of Waterloo councillors say they want when it comes to the future of the region’s municipal governance.
Wildfire west of Sudbury prompts evacuation order, total active fires in northern Ont. grows to 54
A northern Ontario forest fire that started west of Sudbury on Sunday morning has grown to more than 1,000 hectares and has prompted officials to issue an evacuation order for the immediate area as the number of active fires in the region grows.
Spreading wildfires prompt northeastern communities to evacuate
Communities affected by wildfires in the region are evacuating for safety reasons. The province says there is significant danger as several out-of-control wildfires affect air quality and physical safety.
‘Incompetent’ northern Ont. doctor loses his license to practise medicine
A northern Ontario doctor has been stripped of his medical licence for conduct described as “disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.”
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Year-over-year home sales in Ottawa up 6 per cent in May
The Ottawa Real Estate Board says home sales were up six per cent in May 2023 compared to a year prior, marking the first year-over-year unit sales volume increase since early last year.
Special Air Quality Statement
Special Air Quality Statement | Wildfire smoke blankets Ottawa for a third day
Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Ottawa, with the air quality at 10+ "very high risk" Wednesday morning. Conditions improved in the afternoon.
Plug-in air purifier blamed for row house fire in Craig Henry area
The Ottawa Fire Service says a plug-in air purifier is to blame for a fire on Craig Henry Drive Tuesday.
Hazy days continue in Windsor-Essex, air quality statement in effect
According to Environment Canada, smoke plumes from forest fires in Quebec and northeastern Ontario have resulted in deteriorated air quality and poor air quality will persist into the weekend.
VIDEO | Weapon and drug charges laid after Lakeshore ‘road rage’ incident
A “road rage” incident has led to multiple charges for two Windsor residents after allegedly wielding a replica firearm at another driver.
'I just feel so empty': Mother opens up after teenaged daughter’s body recovered by police
The body of a woman reported missing in January has been found by Windsor police and her mother is struggling with the confirmation that her daughter is gone.
Barrie councillors hear grim reality of housing affordability crisis
Barrie city councillors got a shocking but not surprising reality check into the affordability challenges facing many residents looking to put a roof over their heads.
Traffic stop in Cookstown leads to arrest of banned driver with hidden Alabama plates
A 57-year-old man faces charges after a traffic stop uncovered he was banned from driving and had multiple licence plates on the vehicle.
Multiple 1,000lb pieces of construction equipment stolen from Barrie site
Police in Barrie are investigating after construction equipment was allegedly stolen from an active site in the city's south end.
'This is not helping': Frustrated evacuees say official communication lacking in wildfire recovery
Frustration is building among some people from neighbourhoods hardest-hit by the fires near Halifax. CTV's Heidi Petracek reports.
Irving Oil weighing its options, including the possible sale of its assets
Irving Oil says it’s undertaking a “strategic review” with an eye to its future. In a release Wednesday, the company says it’s looking at a number of options, including the sale of its assets.
Halifax support workers strike impacting students and families
The father of disabled teen from Fall River, N.S. is calling on all sides to get back to the bargaining table and put an end to the Halifax area CUPE educational support worker strike.
Council reconsiders decision to reject recommendations on affordability crisis
Calgary city council has reconsidered its decision to vote against recommendations made by an expert panel to address the city’s housing affordability crisis.
Man on mobility scooter hit by truck in northeast Calgary intersection
Police say a man on a mobility scooter has life-altering injuries after he was struck by a vehicle in a northeast Calgary intersection on Wednesday evening.
Hot, dry weather comes with cautions and a few benefits
Calgary was under a heat warning Wednesday with forecast high of 29C.
Trustee suspended over posts targeting LGBTQ2S+ community, division says
A Manitoba school trustee has been suspended over social media posts the division says targeted the LGBTQ2S+ community.
Continued closure of Fort Gibraltar causing changes for soon to be married couples
The closure of Fort Gibraltar following the collapse of an elevated walkway that sent 16 students and one teacher to hospital has left some couples scrambling to find a place to get married.
Crash with stolen vehicle sends two Winnipeg officers to hospital
A section of Main Street is closed on Wednesday morning following a car crash in the area.
Out-of-control wildfire on Lower Mainland sees massive growth
A human-caused wildfire on the Lower Mainland has grown to an estimated 800 hectares and continues to burn out of control Wednesday, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
'You don't listen to renters': Vancouver Tenants Union disrupts housing announcement
Rental housing advocates interrupted an announcement by B.C.'s housing minister in Vancouver Wednesday morning to object to the provincial government's response to the affordability crisis.
Vancouver voice actors concerned about AI cloning voices without consent
Advances in artificial intelligence means software can generate accurate voice clones that sound just like the real thing, but that's putting some actors in a precarious position, including Vancouver's Bill Newton.
Albertans asked to conserve electricity Wednesday evening due to hot temperatures
Hot temperatures across Alberta prompted a grid alert Wednesday afternoon.
'A long time coming': Edmonton Catholics commit $3.2M to Indigenous reconciliation fund
The Archdiocese of Edmonton will spend $3.2 million on reconciliation initiatives with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in the Alberta capital region.
'Major travel delays': Anthony Henday Drive bridge will be closed this weekend
Drivers are being asked to find another way or prepare for delays on the Henday this weekend, because crews need to close a bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.