Now, a judge in southeast Australia has ordered the property – which the woman apparently bought as a gift for her sister who lives abroad – to be sold and all proceeds from the sale given to the crypto company.
The cautionary tale has attracted international attention, especially since it turned out that it took seven months for Crypto.com to notice the error.
Crypto.com spokeswoman Katie Gregory wrote that the company could not comment “because the matter is before the courts.”
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Crypto.com is best known outside of the cryptocurrency world for the company whose name now graces the former Staples Center in Los Angeles — and for Super Bowl ads featuring actor Matt Damon and basketball star LeBron James framing crypto investors as pioneers, with the tagline “Wealth favors the brave.”
He. She 5% of the company’s workforce will be laid off in June amid a widespread downturn in the cryptocurrency market.
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The High Court of Victoria heard that in May 2021, Crypto.com, which operates under a different company name in Australia, mistakenly transferred about $7.2 million to Thevamanogari Manivel instead of recovering the approximately $68 it was owed. The court said that the error occurred when an employee mistakenly filled in the payment amount field with an account number.
“Unusually, the plaintiffs allegedly did not realize this major mistake until about 7 months later, in late December 2021,” the court said in its ruling. In February, after looking into what happened, the company sought a freezing order for Manivel’s accounts to recover the full amount, according to the court’s case background.
However, Crypto.com provided evidence that Manivel actually transferred most of the funds to a joint account with another defendant, who may have had an “emotional relationship” with Manivel, according to evidence heard by the court. Manneville also sent nearly $300,000 to her daughter, and in February, she bought a property in Craigieburn worth $925,000 for her sister, Thilagavathi Gangaduri, who lives in Malaysia.
The four-bedroom, four-bathroom mansion is located about 20 miles north of Melbourne on more than 5,800 square feet of land and features a private cinema, gym and two-car parking, according to Australian website realestate.com.au.
Manivel and Gangadory’s attorneys were not included in the sentencing document.
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Australian Crypto.com firms have been involved in lawsuits against Manivel, Gangadory, and six other defendants since then. In May, Judge James Dudley Elliott issued a default ruling in the case against Gangadouri – meaning she did not file a notice to appear before the court’s deadline. Thus, Elliott ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Foris GFS Australia Pty Ltd. , which helps operate the Crypto.com trading platform in Australia.
The court said the company’s lawyers did not appear to have been able to reach Gangaduri, although it appeared to be aware that the case was still going on because her sister’s lawyers said in March that Gangaduri was seeking legal advice.
Under the judge’s ruling, which was published last week, Foris GFS was awarded all proceeds and interest from the sale of the property in Craigieburn. The court said Gangadori was ordered to pay the company’s legal costs related to the case, plus 10 percent interest, which amounts to about $19,000.
Gangadory can appeal, but she must provide “a valid reason for not submitting documents, a valid defense of the case, and giving reasons for the court not to issue the order” against her, according to the District Court of Victoria. The next court date is October 7, when the judge will determine the next steps for the case in what is known as a “hearing.”
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