An Australian woman who spent $10.4 million that was mistakenly transferred to her bank account has been ordered to pay it all back plus 10 percent interest, as well as legal costs.
In May of last year, Melbourne resident Thevamanogari Manivel was supposed to receive a $100 refund from cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com.
Instead, the Singapore-based trading platform, which uses actor Matt Damon to promote its products and sponsors the AFL to the tune of $25 million a year, made a big mistake.
They “mistakenly transferred” $10,474,143 to the client, according to court documents.
Ms. Manivel then gave the money to six other people, including family members like her daughter and sister.
During a routine audit, Crypto.com discovered the error and began legal proceedings, exposing the seven recipients of the funds. The woman’s bank, the Commonwealth Bank, was also listed as a defendant “but no substantial final relief was sought against it.”
“Remarkably, the Claimants allegedly did not become aware of this significant error until some seven months later, in late December 2021,” Victoria Supreme Court Justice James Elliott stated.
Last Friday, the court ruled in favor of Crypto.com and ordered that all the money plus additional costs be returned, but has not yet received a response from the defendants.
The court order means that Ms Manivel’s sister will have to sell a $1.35 million Melbourne home that was reportedly paid for in full through improper payment.
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The court heard that Ms Manivel bought a four-bedroom, four-bathroom house in Craigieburn as a “gift” for her sister, Thilagavathy Gangadory.
Crypto.com, which trades as Foris GFS Australia Pty Ltd in Australia, began its legal fight in early February and succeeded in freezing Ms. Mannivel’s accounts.
By then, however, most of the money had gone to Ms. Gangadory and the other defendants.
Just two weeks after her sister’s assets were suspended, Ms Gangadory became the registered owner of the Craigieburn Property on February 21.
As a result, Crypto.com later applied for orders that Ms. Gangadory’s bank accounts also be frozen.
The judge ordered the sale of the property.
“It is established that the Craigieburn property was purchased with funds traceable to the improper payment and would never have been in the hands of Gangadory if the improper payment had not been made,” Elliott said in sentencing.
“Therefore, Gangadory unjustly enriched himself by receiving the purchase price of the Craigieburn property for the improper payment…
“Accordingly, I was satisfied that the orders relating to the sale of the Craigieburn property were appropriate.”
Ms. Gangadory was not only forced to sell her luxurious new house, but also had to pay more bills – interest for as long as she held onto the funds after court proceedings began.
There was “an order that Gangadory pay interest to the first plaintiff calculated from March 1, 2022 to the date of trial,” according to court documents…
“Applying the legal interest rate to be paid on judicial debts, being 10 percent, the sum of $27,369.64 was granted.”
No representative for Ms. Gangadory appeared at the trial.
Other warrants have been made in separate cases involving the other seven defendants and the rest of the missing money.