Associate of Ontario ‘cryptocurrency king’ sentenced to prison

An associate of Ontario’s so-called “cryptocurrency king” has been sentenced to five months in jail after refusing to hand over an iPhone to investigators and destroying data, a judge said.

Colin Murphy, 27, was taken into police custody on Friday and his official sentence will begin in Lindsay, Ont. prison on February 8 after he was found in contempt of court.

He was previously ordered to repay $120,000 to investor Craig Sutherland and surrender his Porsche, Ford pickup truck and gold-plated firearms to the court following a November ruling.

Murphy represented himself in court, appearing in light-wash jeans and an army green hoodie on Friday.

This is the first criminal charge filed in connection with 25-year-old Aiden Pleterski’s alleged Ponzi scheme.

Sutherland filed a civil lawsuit against Murphy in December 2022, but the case was moved to criminal jurisdiction after Murphy concealed and withheld evidence from bailiffs who showed up at his girlfriend’s home with a court order to seize her assets in last January, the judge ruled.

“It was a deliberate breach of a court order,” Judge O’Connell said in Friday’s sentencing.

Murphy allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme parallel to Pleterski’s, investors claim. Pleterski was forced to file for bankruptcy in August 2022 after allegedly defrauding hundreds of investors out of more than $40 million.

“I want my money,” Sutherland said, sitting next to his legal counsel in a black leather jacket on Friday.

Colin Murphy enters a courtroom in Oshawa after being asked for $120,000.

Still tracking assets

Murphy turned over his truck and Porsche, which will be liquidated next month. But the court heard he refused to hand over his weapons after insisting that a firearms expert send proof of his license ahead of a meeting due to take place earlier this week.

“I will not meet with you and you can cry about it in court,” Murphy wrote in a Jan. 31 email to the firearms expert, which the judge read in the courtroom on Friday.

“Those emails show an arrogance that is truly incredible,” Judge O’Connell commented. “It almost shows me that you don’t understand the gravity of all this.”

During sentencing, the judge said Murphy’s behavior often amounted to “giving the middle finger” and “snubbing the nose” in court.

how it developed

In the summer of 2021, Murphy arrived at Sutherland’s driveway in Oshawa in a Porsche, he said in an interview with W5, which premiered on February 3.

Murphy was there to collect thousands of dollars in cash that he said would be invested in cryptocurrency.

“It was pretty impressive,” Sutherland said in the exclusive interview. He was dazzled by the wealth heaped upon Murphy’s stories of yachting and weekly earnings in the eight percent range.

Craig Sutherland says he transferred a total of $270,000 to Colin Murphy.

“I thought I must be doing something right to be driving around in a Porsche,” he said.

Sutherland initially handed over $40,000 in cash and over the course of four months transferred a total of $270,000, he said.

When Sutherland met Pleterski, the so-called “king of cryptocurrencies,” at a racetrack in southwestern Ontario with Murphy, he said the presentation left him even more impressed.

“After seeing that Aiden was there with his McLaren, he convinced me that this was legit, that these guys made money and that I should probably invest more money because these guys are making big profits,” Sutherland said.

Sutherland was told his investment with Murphy soared to $878,000 at its peak.

“When the communications started to slow down and there was no more discussion about what percentage of profits I was making… that’s when I started to get worried,” Sutherland said.

He said he asked Murphy to withdraw his original $120,000 investment and even contacted Pleterski directly, but the two pointed fingers at each other, saying the other lost his money.

Colin Murphy leaves an Oshawa courthouse as W5’s Avery Haines questions him about an upcoming sentencing.

“I don’t think I believed anyone at the time because when it was starting to fall apart, if it was legitimate, the money would have been there,” Sutherland said.

While Murphy has been sentenced to five months in jail, Pleterski’s bankruptcy process is approaching 20 months.

W5 has learned there is a joint task force investigating Pleterski, but the Durham Regional Police Service and the Ontario Securities Commission declined to comment on whether criminal fraud charges could be a possible consequence for the so-called king. of cryptocurrencies, who continues to solicit investment advice on Instagram and live streaming world travel.

W5 will conduct an investigation into so-called ‘Crypto King’ Aiden Pleterski this week. You can watch ‘The Crypto Bros’ on Saturday at 7pm EST.

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