Ontario 'crypto king' lands in Australia as associate flees to Dubai
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2023 6:11AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 6, 2023 6:11AM EST
Ontario’s self-described ‘crypto king’ just landed in Australia, the latest destination in a months-long travel spree he’s prolifically posted about on social media, despite ongoing bankruptcy proceedings tied to the more than $40 million scheme he allegedly operated.
Social media posts show that Aiden Pleterski, 25, arrived in Melbourne over the weekend – one of at least three destinations he’s ventured to in as many months.
The Whitby, Ont., local has travelled freely since he was forced into bankruptcy in September 2022 after allegedly scamming hundreds of investors out of millions.
CTV News has viewed numerous posts depicting Pleterski’s high-life living since September – partying in Los Angeles for Halloween, posting poolside from Miami, travelling to London for a boxing match, and most recently, arriving in Melbourne.
While Aiden appears to be on a junket as a social media influencer, one of his associates has admitted he has fled to Dubai.
Ryan Rumble, a Chatham, Ont., resident who allegedly operated a $4 million “feeder fund” for Pleterski, ignored a court-issued order last month to surrender his passport and instead says he flew to Dubai.
Rumble and his company Banknote Capital were petitioned into bankruptcy on Nov. 20 after allegedly collecting $14 million in investments from members of his community to operate a Ponzi scheme, feeding nearly one-third of the funds to Pleterski.
ARE THEY ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY?
On Nov. 24, Rumble appeared virtually in court – from Dubai – to address his failure to hand over his passport.
Two weeks prior, Rumble was ordered to forfeit the document by Justice Paul Howard by Dec. 1, or risk severe consequences, including potential prison time.
However, in that time span, Rumble left the country, flying to Dubai.
“I had an opportunity here in Dubai to have employment and to make some money. And that's why I'm here,” Rumble told the court on Nov. 24. “The only way I can actually, you know, get the means to pay back my investors is to be here.”
Rumble put the court in a “difficult position” going against the order, Howard said in response.
“It's an order. It's not a suggestion. It's not a guideline or a recommendation. It's an order of the court.”
Normal Groot, a fraud recovery lawyer representing a class action launched against Rumble, confirmed that he has not surrendered his passport. The matter will next be addressed in court on Dec. 14.
There is no direct pathway for a bankruptcy trustee to seize a passport. In Pleteski’s case, the trustee heading the proceedings made two separate recommendations to the court that Pleterski be incarcerated for failing to fully comply with his duties, but the court did not grant the requests.
The trustee previously revealed more than 98 per cent of the money Pleterski collected was never invested.
At this point in time, Pleterski has not been criminally charged and, in turn, his daily activities have not been limited.
During these weeks, Pleterski has spent dozens of hours live streaming, including more than five hours building and destroying a Lego Titanic.
In his first stream, he speaks openly – “sharing his story” – about the rise and fall of his crypto empire.
“I wanted to start sharing my story with you guys,” Pleterski said to his online audience.
“Don’t do things to impress people [because] if you do things to impress other people – you could, number one, go broke because what impresses other people? Supercars. Lavish lifestyles,” Pleterski said in a now-deleted video, originally posted in September.
Not long after, in early November, he posted an Instagram story with the caption, “Exotic cars, yachts and villa rentals in South Florida or LA and Orange county, hit me up!!” A few days later, a second post shared to Instagram showed the 25-year-old driving a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ.
Pleterski started investing friends and family’s money in 2020 and renting luxury cars for anywhere between $300 to $2,000 per day, according to a cross examination last November. His collection grew to a fleet of fluorescent Ferraris and Lamborghinis parked outside of his $8 million lakefront mansion in Burlington.
“I could pretty much wake up every day and every other day was a movie,” he said, reflecting on the period of time in a recent livestream.
“It’s a surreal feeling to make a lot of money, but it also ruined a lot for me … Instead of buying one apartment unit, I want to buy the whole building,” Pleterski added.
“I’m never going to be satisfied with what I’m making.”