A video displayed as evidence in court shows an associate of the so-called Ontario “crypto king” refusing to surrender an iPhone to investigators after hiding it in a toilet caddy during a court ordered search, resulting in five months of jail time for the 27-year-old.
The footage, exclusively obtained by W5, was presented as part of a civil lawsuit that escalated to criminal contempt charges after Colin Murphy withheld the device from court officers when they showed up at his girlfriend’s Oshawa, Ont. home with an injunction to seize his assets last January.
Murphy allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme parallel to Aiden Pleterski’s.
Pleterski, 25, started investing friends and family money when he was 21 years old, which developed into a web of feeder funds that brought in north of $40 million from hundreds of investors before he went bankrupt in August 2022.
Murphy said he gave “the kid money just like everyone else,” but documents show the two also put a down payment on an industrial property in Ajax to allegedly store a collection of high-end vehicles.
Colin Murphy holding a phone during a court ordered search at his girlfriend’s house in January 2023.
It was just after 8 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2023 when police officers knocked on the door of the house Murphy was staying at to execute an injunction, accompanied by a financial fraud examiner and lawyer, the video presented in court on Oct. 26 shows.
Eventually, after being held at the door by the homeowner for approximately half an hour, Murphy led the court officers into the kitchen.
Police officers arrive at the house Colin Murphy was staying at to execute an injunction on Jan. 11, 2023.
“I didn’t do nothing. It’s just this Aiden kid,” Murphy said in the video, repeatedly refusing advice to call a lawyer.
Within the first hour of the three hour ordeal Murphy did hand over a Google Pixel 7 and his wallet, with four $50 bills, but claimed he sold an iPhone that officers believed to be in his possession.
Financial fraud examiner and private investigator Keith Elliott searched the main floor bathroom after Murphy dipped into it for approximately five minutes during the second hour of the search.
Elliott inspected a toilet caddy and pulled back a layer of rubber to reveal a hidden iPhone.
“Here’s the smoking gun,” he tells W5 in an interview premiering Feb. 3.
A search video of a fraud investigator discovering a phone in a toilet caddy at the house Colin Murphy was staying at in January 2023.
“Colin, do you want to explain this?” Elliott asks in the video, placing the phone on the kitchen counter.
“I have sh-t on my phone of me and my girlfriend,” Murphy replied.
He snatched the phone and refused to hand it over citing “personal” and “erotic” photos of his girlfriend that he wanted to “protect,” the video shows.
After a lengthy effort by investigators to compel Murphy to hand over the phone, they backed away from physical confrontation and took images of the apps on the device. Investigators informed Murphy that, if he did not turn the phone over the next day, he stood to be criminally charged in contempt of court.
Less than 24 hours later, Murphy arrived at the Oshawa courthouse and handed the phone over, but it was wiped clean.
“Everything that was on that phone. Those 47 apps are all gone. Those applications could be banking information. They could be digital wallets, they could be crypto,” Elliott said.
W5 will have an investigation into the so-called ‘Crypto King” Aiden Pleterski this week. You can watch ‘The Crypto Bros’ on Saturday at 7 p.m. EST.