Crypto.com mistakenly sent over $10m to Australian woman

Seven months after incorrect refund was sent, Crypto.com launched legal action

Logo and name of cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com displayed on a smartphone                                 
Crypto.com accidentally sent $10.5m to an Australian woman when it meant to send a $100 refund – Photo: Getty Images
                                

Crypto exchange Crypto.com accidentally sent $10.5m (£9.03m) to an Australian woman when it meant to send a $100 (£85) refund.

Thevamanogari Manivel, from Melbourne, Australia, received the $10.5m in May 2021 from Crypto.com, which did not realise its mistake until an audit in December 2021, Australian news outlet 7news.com reported.

Legal action launched months after payment

Seven months after the incorrect refund, Crypto.com launched legal action against Manivel by which point she and her sister had already spent some of the $10.5m mistakenly sent to her.

Part of the funds were used to buy a $1.35m (£1.16m) property in the Melboure suburb of Craigieburn. Manivel subsequently set up a joint account with sister Thilagavathy Gangadory that held $10.1m (£8.68m).

Crypto.com, which operates as Foris GFS in Australia, won part of its legal battle in Victoria’s Supreme Court, ordering the home to be sold and the funds to be returned to the crypto exchange.

‘Unjustly enriched’ by wrongful payment

Justice James Dudley Elliott who oversaw the case said: “It is established that the Craigieburn property was acquired with funds traceable to the wrongful payment and would never have been in Gangadory’s hands if the wrongful payment had not been made.

“Thus, Gangadory was unjustly enriched by receiving the purchase price of the Craigieburn property out of the wrongful payment.

“Accordingly, I was satisfied that the orders relating to the sale of the Craigieburn property were appropriate.”

Justin Lawrence, partner from Henderson and Ball Lawyers, an Australian law firm, told 7news: “There’s no doubt that if you saw that in your account you would know it shouldn’t be there, and the onus is actually on you to actually call the sender and to say look that shouldn’t have come into my account.

“If you’re withholding property of someone else, you’re effectively holding property by deception, you’re not entitled to it, you need to give it back.”

Crypto.com did not wish to comment on the matter as the court case is ongoing. 

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