Can we trust the Ayton Family Office?

It has become common knowledge in certain circles that Nick Ayton – patriarch of the Ayton family and the managing director of a company that defrauded pension savers out of millions of pounds, all whilst holding a made up MBA and questionable work history.

Last year, we published a lengthy article about Nick Ayton, Chainstarter, and the 21 Million project. As such, we found it relevant to share this article from Crypto Police on the most recent developments from the Aytons.

This article was originally published on on April 5, 2020 by Crypto Police.

While the Ayton Family had the original Medium post removed, they wont be able to remove it from Cointelligence.



It has become common knowledge in certain circles that Nick Ayton – patriarch of the Ayton family and the managing director of a company that defrauded pension savers out of millions of pounds, all whilst holding a made up MBA and questionable work history – is probably someone you should avoid in the crypto-asset world.

But what of his family and, moreover, their trust – supposedly steeped in 900 years of enigmatic history?

Well, a slight scratch of the surface once again shows deceit and lies are all part of the family business.

The Ayton Family Office Trust website is a small and (as tends to be the case with the Aytons) poorly written foray into the history of a seemingly esteemed family that has held positions of trust with the British royal family and held a significant role in Anglo-Scottish relations throughout the Middle Ages.

There is even a family crest, as one would expect from such a supposedly well heeled bloodline.

Their website tells us:

“Ayton family trust is a Ultra Discrete Private Wealth Trust of one of the oldest Noble Families in Europe. It is more than 900 years old.”

UPDATE: Since publishing this story, the Aytons have decided to remove information about the Ayton family history but we managed to screenshot it.

This is indeed very interesting. having investigated the Aytons and their practices previously, they never mentioned their family office or family history when they supposedly helped startup founders raise capital through Chainstarter Ventures, or when they sponsored Family Office events. Why a family office would sponsor a gathering of family offices doesn’t seem to make any sense. But, not a lot tends to with the Ayton’s business practices.

So, where to start with the Ayton Family Office? Well their family home, Ayton castle, as implied on the website, seems like as good a place as any.

Ayton castle is based in Berwickshire, Scotland, and the owner holds the title of ‘The Baron of Ayton’. This is a peculiarity exclusive to Scottish titles, whereby the title passes to the owner of the house and estate associated with it. So, clearly, this would be Nick – head of the house of Ayton, as his family office proudly advertise their ancestral home on their website.

Well, no. Not at all actually.

That title belongs to. Ian Liddell-Grainger MP. The title has belonged to his family for over 100 years.

Nick Ayton and his family are not able to claim Ayton castle as ever having been in their family and they are certainly not descendants of the Baron of Ayton.

Far from being the Ayton family’s home, they have in fact never lived there. The house was originally built by the Home clan – a powerful family from the Scottish Borders and a prominent name through Scottish history.

There has never been any history of any Ayton family holding the title of ‘Baron of Ayton’ or living in Ayton castle.

Instead, Ayton is merely a place name, which was part of the lands owned by the Home clan. Ayton castle was primarily a peel tower that was built by James Home of Ayton (and his lands were confiscated in the Jacobean War due to betraying the Scottish cause).

The Ayton Castle of today was built around the peel tower.

"The estate was subsequently purchased by William Mitchell (later Mitchell-Innes) of Parsonsgreen, Edinburgh, Chief Cashier of the Royal Bank of Scotland. From 1846 – 51 James Gillespie Graham was commissioned to build a new castle at Ayton in the Scottish Baronial style in red sandstone. Further additions were made in the later 19th century."

The Aytons are not related in any way, shape or form to Ayton castle. They merely share a surname with a place in Scotland.

So inclusion of Ayton Castle on the Ayton Family Office website is a clear attempt to mislead and hijack a family history that doesn’t even exist.

The fact is, the Aytons do not have an esteemed family history. Their recent history is questionable at best – Nick Ayton was best friends with the fall guy for the massive pension fraud he was involved with, he raised money selling securities illegally through his Initial Coin Offering for 21MILLION project, his LinkedIn profile is full of misrepresentations and lies (University de la Romande doesn’t seem to have ever existed, thus has never offered an MBA).


It is clearly an attempt to take the heat off this family office scam that Nick – the head of the Ayton Family – is not listed on the website.

But who are the trust managers for Ayton Fmaily Office trust in that case?

Arnold Ayton and Obediah Ayton are two of Nick’s sons. Debbie Ayton is his wife. She is also involved in 21 Million as a director and was part of a plot to remove David Lofts from that company.

It should be noted that a single family office (SFO) usually has assets of over $100million. It would seem very liberal to assume the Aytons have such an amount, given that Nick still owes over £10million to The Pension Regulator due to a previous scam he was involved in.

The only reason we can think for the Aytons pretending to be landed Scottish gentry is to grant a certain esteem to what is a damaged family name through their previous actions.

The sad fact is, if Arnold and Obe are as well educated as they would have us believe, there is every chance they could run a legitimate business to relative success without the need to lie, cheat and deceive people looking to raise funds out of their money.

The only reason for them lying about their family history is, presumably, some sort of long con – a ‘fake it til you make it’ play in which they take money off startup owners hoping to raise capital whilst delivering very little.

The Ayton’s prior relationship with the Ritossa Family Office summits appears to have come to an abrupt end, perhaps due to their proposition of overpromising and under-delivering finally catching up to them.

In our opinion, you should avoid the Ayton family and the fake Ayton Family Office like COVID-19. Both hold the potential to leave you feeling thoroughly dishevelled and exhausted, but for differing reasons.