After a Crypto.com employee entered the wrong account number and mistakenly sent AU$10.5 million to an Australian woman who had requested an AU$100 refund, a court document shows it took seven months for the cryptocurrency exchange platform to discover its error. By that point, the transfer error could not be reversed, and some of the money had allegedly already been spent.
The recipient, Thevamanogari Manivel, didn’t notify Crypto.com, instead allegedly transferring funds to bank accounts held by her and her family. Crypto.com claims Manivel used the money to buy her sister a modern million-dollar house, complete with a home gym and theater.
Last Friday, Justice James Elliott, a judge for the Victorian Supreme Court in Australia, issued a default judgment in the case. This became necessary because, as Crypto.com alleged in the court document, Manivel and other named defendants, including her sister Thilagavathy Gangadory, failed to respond to a court summons.
Crypto.com wants the court to force the sisters to give up the house and return the money, plus any profits from the sale and legal fees. The court agreed, ordering Gangadory to pay a minimum of $1.35 million, plus interest of $27,369.64, and ordering that she sell the house, which is currently valued by RealEstate.com at $1.37 million.
Earlier this year, after discovering its mistake, the cryptocurrency exchange company froze Manivel’s bank account and later all the other bank accounts to which Crypto.com alleged its money had been wrongly transferred. The exchange claims, among other complaints, that Gangadory was “unjustly enriched” by their error.
Attempting to serve court documents to the sisters, Crypto.com’s legal team reached out to Manivel’s lawyers. The Guardian reported that her lawyers responded just once to confirm receipt. Crypto.com had less success reaching Gangadory, who allegedly never responded to attempts to serve her court documents.
In his default judgment, Elliott said that this non-response was a concern indicating that she may not have received the documents. Ultimately, he decided that an email with a link to court documents to Gangadory served as sufficient notice, and he issued the default judgment that Crypto.com sought.
The judge noted in his order, however, that the defendants can still challenge the judgment. Australia’s 7News reported that the case would resume this October to settle how much Crypto.com will recover.
If the sisters continue failing to appear, they could be held in contempt of court. Crypto.com told Business Insider that Manivel’s lawyers told the crypto firm that Gangadory is currently seeking legal advice on the default judgment.
Neither Manivel nor Gangadory could be reached by Ars or other outlets for comment. A Crypto.com spokesperson told Ars, “As the matter is before the courts, we are unable to comment.”