The trial for a Waterloo man accused of swindling more than a dozen victims out of millions is underway.

Constantinos Mathios is charged with defrauding investors, allegedly telling them they were buying into a private mining company.

Mathios is accused of defrauding investors of about $2.5 million, fueling a lavish lifestyle that allowed him to rub shoulders with the rich and famous.

In its opening statement, the Crown argues that he told investors he represented Magma Gold, a private mining company.

The Crown alleges Mathios would tell them they were signing up for so-called subscriptions or shares into the company, but would spend the money instead.

The Crown says the Waterloo man was never licensed to sell securities and never had a relationship with Magma Gold.

The first witness on the stand is Australian actor Ryan Kwanten. He testified that he met Mathios in 2010 at a charity gala in Toronto.

They allegedly became friends after the Elton John Oscar party.

Kwanten told the court that he gave Mathios US$1 million to invest, but was given the run around for three years when he tried to get his money back.

A cross examination was underway for Kwanten around noon.