What would you do if a company accidentally sent you millions in dollars you never asked for? Well, Australia-based news outlet 7News reported Tuesday that Crypto.com, one of the most high-profile crypto platforms in the world, had made an extremely expensive whoopsie last year after a woman living in Melbourne, Australia asked the company for a refund. Instead of a mere AUD$100, she got 100,000 times that.
Local news reported that Thevamanogari Manivel got the company to process a $100 AUD refund in May last year, but supposedly an employee put in the user’s account number in the payment section of the application the company uses for refunds, transferring a whopping $10.5 million into the woman’s account.
This was during a time of rapid expansion for Crypto.com. While the price of popular digital currencies like bitcoin and ether were skyrocketing, the exchange was promoting crypto based credit and debit cards. The company has recently been pushing toward giving Australian users the ability to pay for everyday items using their (ever-fluctuating) crypto.
It took the company a full seven months to realize it had made a mistake, only discovering the misappropriated funds during an audit that December. The company launched legal action in the Victoria Supreme Court toward the beginning of this year. Judges put a freeze on Manivel’s bank account in February.
The Cayman Islands-based Crypto.com declined to comment to Gizmodo, citing that the issue is before the courts.
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With such a windfall landing on her doorstep, Manivel decided to transfer $10.1 million into a joint account, then went ahead and bought a $1.35 million five-bedroom home for her sister this past February, according to court documents cited by 7News.
The Victoria Supreme Court has already sided with Crypto.com regarding the home, ordering Manivel to sell the mini-mansion and return those funds to the company. According to The Guardian, Crypto.com solicitors could not reach Manivel’s sister, Thilagavathy Gangadory, to serve her the account freeze orders. The court then issued a default judgment in favor of Crypto.com, ordering the sister to return the funds along with $27,369.64 in interest and costs.
The case is set to return to court in October, according to 7News.
The first image you’re greeted with going to Crypto.com is Matt Damon’s mug stalking toward the screen behind the tagline words “Fortune Favors the Brave.” It’s not like the company couldn’t previously afford to misplace $10 million. Before the company conducted its audit last year, it bought the rights to the name for the Los Angeles Staples Center, putting up $700 million of its own funds behind the branding exercise.
The company probably needs that money back, now more than ever. Despite it seeming like 2021 was “their year,” 2022 was rough right off the bat. The exchange suffered a massive hack worth $34 million in users’ crypto, and the company said they refunded users’ lost crypto. And just like so many crypto exchanges, Crypto.com has been hurt by the recent market downturn and ongoing crypto winter. The company announced in June they were cutting 260 staff positions, or about 5% of their total workforce, though there were reports based on anonymous employee interviews that the company was axing hundreds more than they would publicly say.