Imagine opening your bank account to find a deposit of $10.5 million. That’s exactly what happened to Thevamanogari Manivel in May 2021 when a Crypto.com employee accidentally entered the wrong details. Staggeringly, this mistake went unnoticed for seven months. During that time Manivel has allegedly been on a spending spree, including the purchase of a $1.35 million mansion in Melbourne. The only problem? Now Crypto.com wants the money back and it isn’t pulling any punches.
Small error, big payout
Many will probably wonder how a company as large as Cypto.com managed to make such a basic error in the first place. According to legal documents, the firm was trying to issue a $100 refund to Manivel but accidentally entered the account number into the payment field. Nobody noticed the mistake until it was flagged up by a routine audit seven months later. By that time it was too late to reverse the transfer.
The mistake is described as “significant.”
Court documents term the oversight extraordinary. Crypto.com processed $415bn in transactions between March 2020 and November 2021 alone, so perhaps a few million is easy to miss. Rather than notifying the firm, documents allege that Manivel immediately shared the money between multiple family-held bank accounts. She supposedly sent $430,000 to her daughter and purchased a $1.35 million house for her sister, Thilagavathy Gangadory.
Crypto.com strikes back
Crypto.com froze Manivel’s account as soon as they discovered the error but were unable to implement a similar freeze on Gangadory’s. In total, the money was shared between eight people, all of whom are now listed as defendants. Communication between the court and defendants has been minimal. Gangadory simply responded “received, thank you” to an email containing court documents but hasn’t replied to anything since. Manivel has stayed silent and ignored her court summons.
The defendants have been quiet
In her absence, Victoria’s Supreme Court deemed that Manivel was “unjustly enriched” by Crypto.com's error. Gangadory has been ordered to sell the house and return the money along with 10% interest ($27,369.64). The firm is also seeking reimbursement for its legal fees along with a separate order for the return of the other funds. In his ruling, Justice James Elliot concluded:
“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.”
Crypto.com declined to comment as the case is ongoing and the defendants seem all but unreachable. Few will feel much sympathy for Crypto.com but this story serves as a reminder to always double-check your transactions! From the defendants’ point of view, it’s also proof that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.