Crypto.com mistakenly sends woman $7.2 million instead of $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 the cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com mistakenly transferred AU $ 10.5 million ($ 7.2 million) to her bank account – the answer was : buy a villa.

Now, a judge in southeastern Australia has ordered the sale of the property – which the woman allegedly bought as a gift for her sister living abroad – and awarded all proceeds from the sale to the cryptocurrency firm.

The caveat has drawn international attention, particularly since it emerged that it took seven months for Crypto.com to notice the mistake.

Crypto.com spokesperson Katie Gregory wrote in response to a request for comment from The Post: “As the matter is in the courts, we are unable to comment.”

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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. which frame cryptocurrency investors as pioneers, under the slogan “Fortune favors the bold.”

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

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The Supreme Court of Victoria heard that in May 2021 Crypto.com, which operates under a different company name in Australia, mistakenly transferred approximately $ 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 said.

“Remarkably, the plaintiffs allegedly did not realize this material misstatement until about 7 months later, at the end of December 2021,” during an audit, the court said in its ruling. In February, after investigating what had happened, the company tried to issue a freezing order for Manivel’s accounts to recover the full amount, according to the case history released by the court.

However, Crypto.com has presented evidence showing that Manivel had already transferred most of the money to an account held together with another defendant, who may have had a “romantic relationship” with Manivel, according to the evidence heard by the court. Manivel also sent nearly $ 300,000 to her daughter and, in February, bought a property in Craigieburn worth A $ 1.35 million ($ 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 over 5,800 square feet of land and features a private cinema, gym, and two-car parking, according to the Australian website realestate. com.au.

Manivel and Gangadory’s lawyers were not listed in the ruling document.

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Crypto.com Australian companies have since been engaged in litigation against Manivel, Gangadory and six other defendants. In May, Judge James Dudley Elliott handed down a default judgment in the case against Gangadory, meaning he did not file a subpoena within the court’s time limit. Elliott then came out in favor of the plaintiff, Foris GFS Australia Pty Ltd., who helps run Crypto.com’s trading platform in Australia.

The firm’s attorneys apparently were unable to contact Gangadory, the court said, although it seemed aware the case was pending, because her sister’s attorneys said in March that Gangadory was seeking legal advice.

Under the judge’s ruling, published last week, Foris GFS was awarded all proceeds and interest from the sale of the property in Craigieburn. Gangadory was sentenced to pay the company’s legal fees related to the case, plus 10 percent interest, which amounted to nearly $ 19,000, the court said.

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

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