An Australian woman has been sued after receiving part of a mistaken refund from a cryptocurrency exchange – off by five zeros – that he didn’t notice for seven months.
Documents from the Supreme Court of Victoria reveal that plaintiffs Foris GFS Australia Pty Ltd and Foris AU Pty Ltd, the corporate bodies that run Crypto.com, brought claims against eight defendants over wrongful payment to Thevamanogari Manivel.
In May 2021, 10.5 million Australian dollars ($7.2 million) was transferred to Manivel’s account “after an account number was accidentally entered into the payment amount field by a representative of the second plaintiff,” the court documents state. “Extraordinarily, the plaintiffs would not have realized this material error until approximately seven months later, at the end of December 2021.”
The expected amount was 100 Australian dollars (about $68.50).
However, the court heard that during this time, instead of telling Crypto.com of the error, Manivel allegedly split the wealth between six other people – including in the form of A$1.35 million ( $924,743) with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. house in the Melbourne suburb of Craigieburn as a “gift” for his sister, Thilagavathy Gangadory, who lives in Malaysia.
From February 2022, Foris sought to freeze Manivel’s account with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which was also named as a defendant “but no substantial final relief has been sought against him”. This led to the freezing of other accounts that had received money from Manivel, one of which was his daughter’s.
The plaintiffs alleged that the Craigieburn house had been purchased entirely with the funds from the wrongful payment. Two weeks after Manivel’s assets were frozen, Gangadory became the registered owner of the property.
Attempts were made to freeze Gangadory’s account, but these failed as she never responded to emails from the plaintiffs’ legal team. The only communication acknowledging receipt of the proceedings was an email response to Manivel’s attorneys saying, “Received, thank you.”
No Gangadory representative showed up in court, so Judge M. Elliott issued a default judgment on Friday saying Gangadory should sell the house and return the proceeds, pay interest for the time she kept the money, plus expenses.
He said: “It is established that the Craigieburn property was acquired with funds traceable to the wrongful payment and would never have been in the hands of Gangadory if the wrongful payment had not been made.
‘Thus Gangadory was unjustly enriched by receiving the purchase price for the Craigieburn Property on the wrongful payment…As a result, I was satisfied that the orders relating to the sale of the Craigieburn Property were proper.’
The court documents issued “an order requiring Gangadory to pay interest to the first plaintiff calculated from March 1, 2022 to the date of judgment… Applying the statutory interest rate payable on court debts, being 10%, the sum of $27,369.64 was awarded.”
Other orders were made against the other defendants who received money from Manivel to recover the full amount. ®