How Canada’s ‘Crypto King’ Defrauded Investors of $30M

Ontario police charge Aiden Pleterski with fraud and money laundering, accusing him of a $30 million scam.

Aiden Pleterski sitting on a misterious throne with a rusty crown.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • Ontario police charge Aiden Pleterski with $41.5M fraud and money laundering.
  • Pleterski spent investor funds on luxury cars, private jets, and mansions.
  • At least one investor took justice into their own hands. 

Cryptocurrency investments have attracted both eager investors and opportunistic fraudsters. One such case has recently rocked Canada, as the self-proclaimed “Crypto King” was arrested for a $30 million scam. 

Ontario police recently charged Aiden Pleterski, who promised significant returns through his investment schemes, for money laundering and fraud. Instead of delivering to his investors, he used their money to fund his lavish lifestyle. 

‘Crypto King’ Charged

In May 2024, Ontario police, in collaboration with the provincial securities commission, charged Aiden Pleterski, known as Canada’s “Crypto King,” with fraud and money laundering. The charges followed a 16-month investigation named “Project Swan,” which revealed that Pleterski had defrauded investors of over C$41.5 million. 


According to the investigation, Pleterski raised approximately 41.5 million Canadian dollars (30 million US dollars), promising substantial returns through crypto investments. However, court documents revealed he only invested 1.6% of the funds. He used the rest of the money to finance a lavish lifestyle.

Pleterski’s extravagant spending included luxury cars, flights on private jets, and high-end properties. He rented multi-million dollar homes, such as a five-bedroom mansion in Burlington, and purchased high-end sports cars. Pleterski also showcased his opulent lifestyle on social media, which helped him maintain the illusion of a successful investment operation. However, this lavish lifestyle would soon backfire, as some of his victims took matters into their own hands. 

Disgruntled Investor Kidnaps ‘Crypto King’

In December 2022, as his fraud began to unravel, Pleterski was kidnapped in downtown Toronto. He was lured into a vehicle, where he was threatened with firearms and held captive for three days.

During his captivity, Pleterski was moved to various locations and repeatedly assaulted. The kidnappers filmed Pleterski apologizing to investors, demanding a multimillion-dollar ransom, and threatening his life and family. This video later surfaced during the investigation.


The investigation led to the arrest of five suspects involved in the kidnapping. According to the police, one of the kidnappers had lost $740,000 in investments to Pleterski. He and the other suspects face multiple charges, including kidnapping, forcible confinement, aggravated assault, and conspiracy.  

On the Flipside

  • Investment fraud is not confined to crypto. The most famous investment fraud case was that of Bernie Madoff, who managed to steal $64 billion from investors. 
  • A recent study uncovered the dangers of trusting the financial advice of crypto influencers. In the long term, their advice tends to lead to substantial losses

Why This Matters

The $30 million fraud case highlights how dangerous financial scams can be for both victims and perpetrators. Once faced with the loss of their life savings, victims can act dangerously, not shying away from illegal acts. 

Read more about crypto scams: 
6 Most Dramatic Pump and Dump Scams in Crypto History

Read more about the dangers of falling for crypto influencer advice:  
Crypto Influencer Advice Does Not Pay, Report Finds

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.