Bringing Together Conservative Voices

Crypto.com accidentally sent millions to Australian woman, who went on a spending spree. Now, Crypto is suing to get it all back

One Australian woman took the money and ran after a major cryptocurrency exchange accidentally sent her millions of dollars. But now, she could face contempt of court charges after judges ordered her to pay the money back.

In May 2021, Thevamanogari Manivel of Melbourne sent Crypto.com, perhaps the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, a request for a $100 AUD refund. However, when Crypto attempted to honor her request, an agent mistakenly entered the account number in the payment section and inadvertently sent Manivel $10.5 million instead, according to reports.

Last year, Crypto was flush with money. It had recently acquired the naming rights to the arena formerly known as the Staples Center in Los Angeles, home of the L.A. Lakers, L.A. Clippers, and L.A. Kings, among others. It had also recently begun issuing crypto-based credit and debit cards. Likely distracted by these new financial endeavors, Crypto.com did not even notice the Manivel error until an audit conducted in December.

However, by that time, a significant portion of the money was already long gone. According to 7News Australia, Manivel had transferred $10.1 million to a joint account and then purchased a $1.35 million property. Reports suggest that the property was purchased as a gift for her sister, Thilagavathy Gangadory, who has also been named in the Crypto suit.

The Supreme Court of Victoria, the Australian state in which Melbourne is located, put a freeze order on Manivel’s accounts back in February and ordered her to sell the property and return all the missing funds, plus the incurred interest. The court likewise ordered Gangadory’s account frozen, but officials haven’t been able to reach her to serve the suit.

“There’s no doubt that if you saw that in your account, you would know it shouldn’t be there,” said Justin Lawrence, an attorney with Melbourne law firm Henderson and Ball Lawyers, according to 7News. “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,” Lawrence added. “You’re not entitled to it. You need to give it back.”

It is unclear whether Lawrence is involved in the suit or simply offering his professional opinion.

Should Manivel and Gangadory refuse to sell the property, they could be held in contempt of court and the property turned over to a court-appointed receiver. Neither sister has issued a public comment. Crypto has merely acknowledged that the issue is “before the courts” and has declined to comment further.

The court battle is scheduled to resume in October.