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 this scenario last year after cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com mistakenly transferred 10.5 million Australian dollars ($7.2 million) to his bank account – the answer was: Buy a mansion.

Now a judge in south-east Australia has ordered the sale of the property – which the woman apparently bought as a gift for her sister who lives overseas – and awarded all proceeds from the sale to the company of cryptography.

The cautionary tale has garnered international attention, especially since it emerged that it took Crypto.com seven months to notice the error.

Katie Gregory, spokesperson for Crypto.com, wrote that the company could not comment “because the matter is before the courts.”

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Crypto.com is best known outside of the cryptocurrency world as the company whose name now adorns the former Staples Center in Los Angeles – and for Super Bowl commercials featuring actor Matt Damon and basketball star LeBron James who framing cryptocurrency investors like trailblazersunder the slogan “Fortune smiles on the brave”.

This laid off 5% of its company workforce in June in a general context downturn in the cryptocurrency market.

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

“Extraordinarily, the plaintiffs would not have realized this material error until some 7 months later, at the end of December 2021,” during an audit, the court said in its judgment. In February, after reviewing what happened, the company sought to order the freezing of Manivel’s accounts to recover the full amount, according to case information released by the court.

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

The four-bedroom, four-bathroom mansion about 20 miles north of Melbourne, sits on more than 5,800 square feet of land and has a private cinema, gym and parking for two cars, according to Australian website realestate. com.au.

Lawyers for Manivel and Gangadory were not listed on the judgment document.

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Since then, Australian Crypto.com companies have been engaged in legal action against Manivel, Gangadory and six other defendants. In May, Judge James Dudley Elliott issued a default judgment in the case against Gangadory, meaning she did not file a notice to appear within the time limit set by the court. Elliott therefore ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Foris GFS Australia Pty Ltd., which helps operate Crypto.com’s trading platform in Australia.

Lawyers for the company were apparently unable to reach Gangadory, the court heard, although she appeared to know the case was pending because lawyers for her sister said in March that Gangadory was seeking legal advice.

Under the judge’s decision, released last week, Foris GFS received all proceeds and interest from the sale of the property in Craigieburn. Gangadory was ordered to pay the company’s legal costs related to the case, plus 10% interest, or nearly $19,000, the court heard.

Gangadory can appeal, but she must provide “a good reason not to file documents, a valid defense to the case, and give reasons why the court should not have made the order” against her, according to the Victoria County Court. The next court date is October 7, when the judge will outline the next steps in the case in what is called a “trial hearing”.

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