Colin Murphy – an associate of Canada’s notorious “Crypto King” Aiden Pleterski – was sentenced to 5 months in prison on Friday for contempt of court in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Hugh O’Connell found Murphy in contempt for refusing to surrender his iPhone and for deleting its data when a search warrant was executed against him last year.
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“He’s put himself behind bars, I haven’t done it,” said O’Connell when delivering the sentence, according to CBC. “Although I’m forcing it, his actions have to require a large wake-up call.”
In February 2023, the 27-year-old was sued by an investor trying to recover $120,000 he had given to Murphy, who was supposed to invest that money into Pleterski’s crypto trading business.
When the client later messaged Murphy to cash in his investments, the former went quiet, according to WhatsApp messages included in a court affidavit. The documents stated that the client’s invested money was his life savings.
In November, Judge O’Connell issued a default judgment against Murphy for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty around separate charges of a similar nature to Groot’s client. He was ordered to liquidate $120,000 of his assets, including a 2017 Porsche 9TS, a 2020 Ford F250, and several firearms.
Murphy told the investor last year that he didn’t have any funds to pay him back, though these claims were refuted by Pleterski in messages within the affidavit.
“Colin took money in from so many individuals that I never ended up seeing,” claimed Pleterski. “Colin has over 2M in assets he can liquidate, but he isn’t.”
Much like Pleterski himself, Murphy was known for displaying a lavish lifestyle on social media, showing off sports cars and the like.
Though an auction to sell Murphy’s vehicles is scheduled for later this month, he has yet to hand over his guns. The judge cited this failure as an aggravating factor in Murphy’s sentence.
Norman Groot, the lawyer representing the investor, initially sought a 12-month jail sentence for Murphy in court submissions last fall.
Pleterski, the main culprit in the Canadian fraud saga, owes over 160 investors $40 million after he failed to repay them money he was expected to use for crypto investing.
In practice, the bankruptcy investigation found that less than 2% of the money was invested, and over $16 million was spent on his own private jets, vacations, and luxury cars. Only $3 million has been recovered so far.
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