The man found beaten and half-naked in a Brampton, Ont., ditch earlier this week has identified himself as Reza Mokhtarian — a self-described multimillionaire, business coach and foreign exchange expert.
Although the entrepreneur, known online as Ocean Sky, claimed on Facebook that his alleged assailants are competitors, he could not explain in an interview what led him to that belief.
- Man found tied up, beaten in Brampton ditch, police say
- Police recover Bentley after man abducted, found beaten
The 33-year-old also denied that his alleged kidnapping might have had anything to do with a previously failed business venture.
"This was just someone wanting me to stop doing what I'm doing," he said in an interview Saturday. He said the men told him to stop doing his work in foreign exchange markets.
Cut and bruised
Two days after he was found, Mokhtarian's face still appeared swollen, with cuts crisscrossing his forehead and deep purple bruises — the size of a silver dollar — encircling each his eyes.
He lifted his shirt to show two fist-sized contusions on one side of his torso, and another mark on the opposite side.
Mokhtarian walked with a limp as he moved through his Mississauga, Ont., mansion, saying that he suffered "dislocated ribs," a concussion, a dislocated jaw and swelling around his brain.
It all began, he said, when he was dragged into a van after he finished playing soccer with friends at the Hershey Centre around 10 p.m. Wednesday.
"[There were] punches from everywhere, knives — they tried to cut my finger off," he told CBC News. "There was a Glock constantly held to my head, in my mouth."
Thank you everyone for the get well wishes. All the stories are true. I was kidnapped by around 10 men of I... https://t.co/zzZHa9B5jz— @RealOceanSky
Mokhtarian said Saturday that four "large individuals" kept watch over him and another three people guarded the exits to the home where he was held overnight. The number of captors shifted throughout the interview, something the business coach said was because he had his head covered most of the time and also suffered a concussion.
In a Facebook video, he said that 10 people held him captive for roughly 15 hours.
Peel Regional Police said Saturday they are investigating the incident, but would not identify the victim or comment on any of Mokhtarian's claims.
Investigators said previously they were looking for four masked men after a 33-year-old Mississauga man was found tied up and beaten in a ditch on Winston Churchill Boulevard near Old Pine Crest Road, on the border of Brampton and Halton Hills.
Police said the victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but did not elaborate on details.
Police later found a grey 2010 Bentley — with the licence plate "OCEANSKY" — which they say belonged to the victim.
Mokhtarian was set to deliver a business talk at the Westmount Event Centre in Vaughan, Ont., on Thursday night, but didn't arrive. Attendees were told he had been in a life-threatening car accident.
The Mississauga man said he also works as a motivational speaker, building an online brand around an image that styles him as having made $30 million by investing in foreign exchange markets.
Not a licensed broker
He now offers "technical and fundamental" advice on the industry through his firm Mentor Tips, he said.
Mokhtarian said he acts as "an educator" and does not hold or move capital, because he is not a licensed broker.
A group of his former clients, however, allege that Mokhtarian scammed them, a civil litigator lawyer told CBC News.
"He held himself out as a foreign exchange trader and we have not been able to confirm that he is registered," said David Marcovitch, who represents five of Mokhtarian's former clients. "And now their investments have been lost."
The Ontario Securities Commission won't confirm whether it's investigating.
'One of the biggest mistakes'
When asked about his former clients, Mokhtarian dismissed their claims.
"They're just glory seekers for media and I'm not even at liberty to discuss them," he said. "They deal with my lawyers and I wouldn't even take any of that stuff for value."
There was no way, he said, that the alleged kidnapping could have been connected to them.
Mokhtarian closed down a former New Zealand-based venture, Capital Trust Markets, a firm he described as "one of the biggest mistakes" he ever made.
"I attracted the wrong clients [and] subsequently they attacked the company with malicious trading activities," he said. "When I enforced my trading terms and conditions and said, 'We're not going to give you your withdrawals, we can only give you the initial money you put in because it was malicious activity,' — they turned on me.
"No one lost money, because they traded money on their own free will."