Shai Gilgeous-Alexander seeks to cancel his purchase of a Toronto home | ET REALITY


The six-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot home on Lake Ontario that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a star player for the Oklahoma City Thunder, bought for just over C$8.4 million, or $6.1 million, should have been the house of your dreams.

But in May, two days after Gilgeous-Alexander, 25, moved into the house near Toronto with his partner, it turned into a nightmare, according to a lawsuit seeking to annul the sale. A threatening visitor appeared looking for a previous occupant. The couple left the next day and have not returned.

The home of the young NBA player, described in the real estate listing as A “swanky resort-like estate” had been the home of Aiden Pleterski, a self-proclaimed “cryptocurrency king” who filed for bankruptcy in 2022, while owing C$26.8 million to more than 150 investor clients.

Court records show the home received a constant stream of angry visitors seeking to speak with Pleterski while he lived there and after he moved out.

Last December, court documents show, Pleterski was kidnapped by one of his aggrieved investors and four other men, then beaten and tortured for three days.

Testimony in the bankruptcy case reveals that Mr. Pleterski had a security guard to protect him from angry investors and was eventually removed from the house for his own safety. Another resident also fled, fearing for his safety after angry visitors continued to show up every day.

A holding company owned by Mr. Gilgeous-Alexander is now asking a court to revoke the purchase of the house in Burlington, Ont., because the seller failed to disclose his connection to Mr. Pleterski and the possible threat to the safety of the house.

Citing the kidnapping, the holding company, in its filing, said that the people who had been showing up at the luxury home “were not making idle threats.”

The property’s former owner, a director of a Toronto real estate company with holdings including apartments, nursing homes and hotels, withheld information about alarming visitors from potential buyers because “any buyer who could afford to spend more than $8 million of dollars in a luxury property “The house would value privacy and, in any case, would not want to be part of a property that had a history of threatening visits to the last two occupants.”

Through his lawyer, Gilgeous-Alexander declined to comment.

Halton Regional Police, which has authority over Burlington, declined to provide more information and a spokesperson declined to say whether Pleterski was the subject of a criminal investigation.

A bank analysis by a bankruptcy trustee shows that Pleterski was not the investment prodigy many of his investors believed him to be.

It found that of the 41.6 million Canadian dollars it received, only 1.6 percent of the money was actually invested. He used about 38 percent of the money to pay rebates (supposed investment gains) to some clients and spent about the same percentage on private jet travel, a fleet of luxury cars, watches, including one that cost more than $300,000, and a lease of the Burlington House.

The trustee concluded that Pleterski’s “extravagant lifestyle, financed by his investors,” had “ultimately led to his bankruptcy.”

During a sworn interview in 2022 with the trustee’s attorneys, Pleterski said he first became interested in cryptocurrencies after using them to purchase video games and began trading them while still in high school.

He started with money from his family and his earnings as a part-time baseball umpire. His knowledge of the trading and financial markets, he said, came from “YouTube videos, Google, quick Google searches.”

The business, Pleterski said, operated through his personal bank accounts until December 2021, when he created his company at the suggestion of a former owner.

His only record, he said, consisted of his text messages and WhatsApp messages with clients. While Pleterski created spreadsheets for a handful of clients who demanded them, he acknowledged that the return on investment they showed was just “a general ballpark figure” that he came up with after examining his bank accounts.

The house Mr. Gilgeous-Alexander purchased was located between Toronto, where he was born, and Hamilton, Ontario, where he grew up. It was fully furnished and included a gym, a three-car garage and a home theater. The rooms, reached by elevator, offered panoramic views of the lake, including the property’s private dock.

In her lawsuit, Gilgeous-Alexander said that two days after she moved in, a man showed up demanding to see someone she had never heard of: Pleterski. Instead of leaving when told there was no one by that name there, the uninvited visitor looked around the property and then sat in his car in the driveway.

Mr. Gilgeous-Alexander’s partner, Hailey Summers, called the police non-emergency number and was told that the agency “had received several reports about threats to the property, including that there was a threat to burn down the house.” , the lawsuit says. .

In spring 2021, Pleterski agreed to lease the Burlington home to a company controlled by Ray Gupta, who also controls real estate holding company Sunray Group in Toronto.

But when Pleterski’s commercial business began to collapse, he stopped making his C$45,000 monthly rent payments and moved into a hotel owned by Sunray, where he was not charged rent.

In response to Mr. Gilgeous-Alexander’s complaint, Mr. Gupta’s company downplayed the frequency and potential danger posed by uninvited visitors and argued that it had no obligation to disclose the persistence of unwanted guests.

“Despite the fact that Aiden was kidnapped, any visit to the Property by an individual inquiring about its former occupant would be viewed as a completely normal occurrence,” he said.

But during a sworn interview for Mr. Pleterski’s bankruptcy case, Sandeep Gupta, Ray’s son, who handled all the dealings with Mr. Pleterski, painted a different picture.

“People came to the house every day looking for Aiden,” Gupta said.

He said the unwanted visitors continued when a Sunray employee moved in to keep the furnished house occupied and the employee asked for a security guard. “His wife refused to stay there,” Gupta said. “It was a very bad situation.”

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