Melbourne Couple to Face Trial Over $10.4M Crypto.com Blunder
Melbourne Couple to Face Trial Over $10.4M Crypto.com Blunder

A Melbourne couple who spent most of a A$10.4 million refund they received in error from cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com are set to face trial. An administrative mistake made by an employee in Bulgaria saw the couple receive the huge sum instead of what should have been a A$100 refund.

Jatinder Singh, 37, and his partner, Thevamanogari Manivel, 40, appeared in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on October 11 to hear the charges against them. 

At the hearing, Singh pleaded not guilty to theft and dealing with property that is the suspected proceeds of crime while Manivel pleaded not guilty to negligently dealing with property that is the suspected proceeds of crime. 

Employee Blunder Turns $100 Into $10.4M

The error which led to the couple’s unintended windfall occurred on May 12, 2021 when a Crypto.com employee based in Bulgaria was processing a refund. Rather than entering the correct cash amount of A$100 in the ‘amount’ field, the employee inadvertently entered an account number. This simple mistake resulted in over A$10 million being deposited into Manivel’s Commonwealth Bank account.

Upon receiving the enormous payment, Singh claims he thought he had won a competition run by Crypto.com after supposedly receiving a notification from the Crypto.com app. However, Crypto.com claims there was no competition that involved a $10 million prize at the time, and even if there were, the company doesn’t notify winners of competitions through in-app notifications.

Couple Bought Up Big Time

After receiving the erroneous refund, the court was told Manivel bought four houses, numerous vehicles, furniture and art. The court was also told A$4 million was transferred to a bank account in Manivel’s home country of Malaysia.

Crypto.com was unaware of the mistake until it was revealed in an audit of the company’s finances in December 2021, around six months after it occurred.

Despite Attempt to Flee, Couple Couldn’t Escape the Fallout

Manivel was arrested in March of this year at Melbourne airport with a one-way ticket to Malaysia, in what prosecutors say was an attempt to flee the country.

Both Manivel and Singh have been committed to stand trial at a later date, Manivel was released on bail while Singh remains in custody awaiting trial.

Crypto.com is also pursuing civil action against the couple in an attempt to recover almost A$3 million dollars which is yet to be paid back.

  • Australia
  • Crime
  • Crypto.com
  • Illegal

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