The Melbourne couple, which sent 10.5 million Australian dollars by mistake by Crypto.com, claims in court that they assumed the funds were earned in a competition.

Thevamanogari Manivel and her husband, Jatinder Singh, are facing trial in the Victoria Supreme Court on fraud and other charges after reportedly spending Crypto.com funds last year.

On Oct. 11, Manivel and Singh appeared in Melbourne magistrates court via video link, pleading not guilty to their respective charges. Singh's defense was that he assumed he had won a contest from Crypto.com and told his wife so.

The funds were initially transferred to Manivel's bank account in May 2021, according to the platform’s compliance officer Michi Chan Fores, who told the court that the problem stemmed from an employee in Bulgaria entering incorrect information into an Excel spreadsheet.

Singh owned the Crypto.com account, but the funds were transferred to his wife's bank account because he had purchased cryptocurrency with her bank cards. The company did not realize its error until an audit was performed in December.

Singh believes that he thought he had won the cash because he had received a notification from the company about the competition. Still, Fores denied the existence of such a competition and stated that Crypto.com did not send any notifications informing users about competition winnings.

Their charges differ slightly in that Manivel is accused of theft for withdrawing the money from her Commonwealth bank account, negligently interacting with the proceeds of crime, and attempting to flee the country.

Manivel was arrested at Melbourne Airport in March after it was discovered that she was attempting to fly home to Malaysia with approximately 11,000 AUD.

In the most recent hearing, she was granted bail with strict conditions, including surrendering her passport and being prohibited from going to any exit points. Manivel's lawyer claims that she was oblivious to the criminal charges against her when she attempted to fly to Malaysia.

Singh is primarily charged with theft for withdrawing funds from Crypto.com's bank account. Moving forward, Manivel and Singh will appear in county court on November 8 for a directions hearing.

Spending binge

A police officer testified in court that the funds were allegedly used to purchase four houses, vehicles, gifts for relatives, art, and furniture and that $4 million AUD was also transferred to a Malaysian bank account.

One of their four properties included a 1.35 million AUD five-bedroom home in Craigieburn, wherein the Victoria Supreme Court ordered it to be sold, and the proceeds returned to Crypto.com.

Approximately $7 million has been repaid, with $3 million still outstanding. According to reports, civil action is being taken to freeze properties and recover the remaining funds.

Do you think that Crypto.com is also responsible for what happened? What do you think is the best way to ensure that something like this doesn't happen again? Let us know your thoughts by sharing this article on social media.

Posted 
Oct 13, 2022
 in 
Crypto News
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