Crypto.com Sent User $6.6M Due to Excel Bungle, Court Hears

A Crypto.com user who mistakenly received a refund worth millions of dollars has claimed they thought the funds were a competition prize

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Crypto.com Arena, another sports sponsorship struck by the digital asset exchange | Source: Shutterstock

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key takeaways

  • Crypto.com says human error resulted in a user being sent millions of dollars instead of less than $100
  • The user has pleaded not guilty to dealing with proceeds of crime and theft from her local bank over the incident

Crypto.com has blamed mistakenly sending millions of dollars in digital assets to an Australian user on manual processes and an Excel spreadsheet.

An Australian court has heard how a Crypto.com employee located in Bulgaria had entered incorrect numbers into the spreadsheet, according to local news report, which ultimately resulted in the user receiving $6.6 million (10.5 million Australian dollars) instead of $64.

Melburnian Thevamanogari Manivel received the funds in May 2021. Manivel allegedly later spent the money to buy art, furniture and four luxury homes, including a multi-million dollar mansion in Cragieburn. She’s also said to have sent millions of dollars to Malaysian bank accounts.

The Singapore-headquartered exchange took the matter to the Victorian supreme court this year and was granted a freeze on Manivel’s assets in February after failing to notice the missing millions until seven months later, following an end-of-year audit.

Crypto.com compliance officer Michi Chan Fores told the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday the first part of the refund process had been due to a human error relating to records kept in Excel.

An Australian payment provider for Crypto.com picked up the refund request, transferring the millions into Manivel’s local bank account. 

Interestingly, Manivel may have received the funds because her partner had used her bank card to make crypto purchases through his own Crypto.com account, according to reports.

Crypto.com user granted bail after spending six months in jail

Manivel was arrested at the Melbourne airport in March while allegedly attempting to head back to Malaysia with about $6,800 (11,000 Australian dollars) in cash.

Appearing in court by video link from jail on Tuesday, Manivel and Singh said they believed they had won the funds via a competition.

Manivel had reportedly been in custody for six months following her arrest but has now been granted $6,300 bail on strict conditions; She must surrender her passport and stay away from any points of departure.

Fores denied the exchange had undertaken any such competition and no customer had received notifications relating to the alleged competition.

Most of the funds have been returned, with $1.9 million outstanding. A civil action has frozen the remaining funds and moved to retrieve gifted cash from Manivel’s relatives.

Manivel has pleaded not guilty to three charges, including dealing with proceeds of crime and theft from her local bank for withdrawing the money. The pair are now reportedly awaiting a directions hearing scheduled for November 8.

Taking Crypto.com’s story as fact, this wouldn’t be the first time a prominent crypto company has mistakenly sent outsized payments to users. 

Last year, staff at crypto lender BlockFi accidentally distributed promotional payouts in bitcoin instead of dollar-pegged stablecoin GUSD, with some users receiving millions of dollars in crypto rather than hundreds.


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