Cryptocurrency trading platform Crypto.com accidentally transferred $10.5m to an Australian woman when processing a $100 refund, and failed to notice the error for seven months.
The company – which paid Hollywood star Matt Damon to feature in a Super Bowl commercial with the slogan “fortune favours the brave” – discovered it had accidentally transferred the fortune to Melbourne woman Thevamanogari Manivel in December 2021, seven months after the error was made.
Crypto.com, which operates as Foris GFS in Australia, had paid out $10.5m instead of a $100 refund after Manivel’s account number was accidentally entered into the payment amount field.
The company launched legal action in the Victorian supreme court this year, and in February was granted a freeze on Manivel’s Commonwealth Bank account, but most of the money had been transferred to other accounts – which were later frozen.
The court heard that $1.35m of the money had been used to buy a four-bedroom home in Craigieburn in Melbourne’s north in February, and the ownership of the property was then transferred into the name of Manivel’s sister, Thilagavathy Gangadory, who lives in Malaysia.
Attempts to serve Gangadory the freezing orders were unsuccessful, as she never responded to emails from Crypto.com’s solicitors. The only communication provided to the court was an email reply to Manivel’s solicitors saying “received, thank you”.
Manivel’s solicitors informed Crypto.com that Gangadory was “seeking legal advice”, the court heard.
As a result, a default judgment was awarded to Crypto.com to force Gangadory to sell the property as soon as possible, with the money to go to Crypto.com, as well as interest in the amount of $27,369.64 and costs.
Crypto.com declined to comment on the case while it was before the court.
In June, Crypto.com said it was sacking 260 of its employees due to the cryptocurrency market downturn. But the Verge reported the company had quietly laid off many more , and not told other staff.
The downturn in the cryptocurrency market came just months after the AFL announced a five-year partnership with Crypto.com to become the “official cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform for the AFL and the AFLW”.
Crypto.com said in May that it remained fully committed to the deal.
“We are well financed, and these are multiyear contracts, which will continue to play a crucial role in our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency,” a spokesperson said.