Crypto.com mistakenly sends woman $7.2 million instead of a $68 refund

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What would you do if you checked your bank account and found millions that shouldn’t be there?

For a woman in Australia — who faced that scenario last year after cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com accidentally transferred 10.5 million Australian dollars ($7.2 million) to her bank account — the answer was: buy a mansion.

Now, a judge in southeastern Australia has ordered the sale of the property — which the woman apparently bought as a gift for her sister who lives abroad — and awarded all proceeds from the sale to the crypto firm.

The cautionary tale has attracted international attention, especially as it turned out that it took Crypto.com seven months to spot the flaw.

Katie Gregory, a spokeswoman for Crypto.com, wrote that the company could not comment “as the matter is in court”.

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Crypto.com is best known outside the cryptocurrency world as the company whose name now graces the former Staples Center in Los Angeles — and for Super Bowl commercials starring actor Matt Damon and basketball star LeBron James that frame cryptocurrency investors as pioneers, under the slogan “Fortune favors the brave.”

It laid off 5 percent of its company staff in June amid a widespread downturn in the cryptocurrency market.

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The Victoria Supreme Court heard that Crypto.com, which operates under a different company name in Australia, mistakenly transferred some $7.2 million to Thevamanogari Manivel in May 2021 instead of the roughly $68 it owed. The error occurred when an employee accidentally entered an account number in the payment amount field, the court said.

“Extraordinarily, the plaintiffs would not have realized this significant error until some 7 months later, in late December 2021,” the court said during an audit of its verdict. In February, after investigating what had happened, the company attempted to place a freezing order on Manivel’s accounts to recover the full amount, according to the background of the case released by the court.

However, Crypto.com has submitted evidence showing that Manivel had already transferred most of the money to an account held with another defendant, who may have had a “romantic relationship” with Manivel, according to evidence found by the court. heard. Manivel also sent nearly $300,000 to her daughter, and in February she bought a $925,000 home in Craigieburn for her sister, Thilagavathy Gangadory, who lives in Malaysia.

Located about 20 miles north of Melbourne, the four-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse sits on over 5,800 square feet of land and includes a private cinema, gym and parking for two cars, according to Australian website realestate.com.au.

Lawyers for Manivel and Gangadory did not insist on the verdict.

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Crypto.com’s Australian companies have since been embroiled in lawsuits against Manivel, Gangadory and six other defendants. In May, Judge James Dudley Elliott issued a default judgment in the case against Gangadory – meaning she failed to file a notice of appearance within the time limit set by the court. Elliott thus ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Foris GFS Australia Pty Ltd., which is helping to operate the Crypto.com trading platform in Australia.

The company’s lawyers were apparently unable to reach Gangadory, the court said, although she seemed aware the case was underway because her sister’s lawyers said in March that Gangadory was seeking legal advice.

According to the judge’s ruling, published last week, Foris GFS was awarded all proceeds and interest from the sale of the Craigieburn property. Gangadory was ordered to pay the company’s legal costs related to the case, as well as 10 percent interest, which amounts to nearly $19,000, the court said.

Gangadory can appeal, but she must provide “a good reason for not filing documents, a valid defense of the case, and reasons why the court should not have issued the order,” according to the Victoria County Court. The next hearing date is October 7, when the judge will set out the next steps of the case in what is known as a “directional hearing.”


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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