Major cryptocurrency trading platform Crypto.com accidentally sent a woman $10.5 million instead of the $100 refund she requested — and didn’t notice until seven months later.
Now the platform is trying to get its money back, $1.35 million of which the wife, Thevamanogari Manivel, bought a house for her sister in the Melbourne suburb of Craigieburn.
The embarrassing turn of events was caused by a clerical error, according to the verdict, “after an account number was accidentally entered in the payment amount field”.
Just like that, crypto.com transferred the amount of $10,474,143 to Manivel’s Commonwealth Bank account and only noticed it in an audit just before Christmas last year.
Crypto.com is a major sponsor of the Australian Football League (AFL) and partners with a local gas station chain to… cryptocurrency payments to everyday purchases.
Details of the extraordinary case were uncovered in a Supreme Court of Victoria judgement last week after Crypto.com – with the Australian name Foris – filed a petition to sell the Craigieburn house and get the $1.35 million back with interest.
Judge James Elliot ordered in favor of Crypto.com after Manivel’s sister, who lives in Malaysia, failed to appear in court.
Since the discovery of the wrongful payment in late December, Crypto.com has been racing to get its $10 million back from the various people Manivel sent it to, including her daughter who received $430,000, and a joint account she shared with her mate.
In early February, Crypto.com representatives sheepishly called the Commonwealth Bank to have Manivel’s accounts frozen, only to learn that “the bulk of the wrongful payment” had been moved to other accounts for them to track down.
Crypto.com then tried to freeze those other bank accounts and recover its money before discovering that $1.35 million was in a Craigieburn property.
To make matters worse for the cryptocurrency platform, Manivel’s sister generally ignored correspondence from Crypto.com’s lawyers when they started asking for the money used to buy the house.
Lawyers sent her emails, tried to deliver her documents to the Craigieburn address, they sent documents to her address in Malaysia, but Manivel’s sister never responded.
Since she never appeared in court, Crypto.com’s lawyers had to prove that they had tried everything to get in touch with the sister, including admitting that she misspelled her name in the early paperwork.
The company declined to comment on the case, which will continue into October.