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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024

Australian family’s million-dollar windfall turned nightmare: $10.4 million refund sparks unraveling saga

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Cryptic error leads to lavish spending spree, legal battles, and a costly lesson in financial oversight

In a twist of fate that turned a routine $100 refund into a multimillion-dollar blunder, an Australian family’s life took a rollercoaster ride of extravagance, legal troubles, and financial consequences.

Melbourne resident Thevamanogari Manivel, expecting a modest $100 return from cryptocurrency exchange platform Crypto.com in May 2021, found herself on the receiving end of a colossal mistake. Instead of the anticipated amount, the platform erroneously refunded over $10.4 million. Faced with an unexpected windfall, Manivel opted for a path that would lead to unforeseen consequences.

Choosing not to alert Crypto.com to the error, Manivel embarked on a spending spree, generously sharing the wealth with friends and family, including her daughter and sister, Thilagavathy Gangadory. The funds facilitated the purchase of a luxurious $1.35 million mansion for Gangadory, complete with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and enviable amenities like a home gym and cinema.

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The family reveled in their newfound fortune for seven months until a routine audit by Crypto.com uncovered the substantial error in December. Legal proceedings ensued in February 2022, with the company freezing Manivel’s accounts. However, the majority of the money had already been transferred to a different joint account and dispersed to her daughter.

Legal repercussions continued as freezing orders were executed on Gangadory, who had become the registered owner of the opulent Craigieburn property. A court ruling in favor of Crypto.com ordered Gangadory to repay the full cost of the house, totaling $1.35 million plus interest.

In a subsequent turn of events, Manivel was arrested in March 2022 while attempting to board a plane to Malaysia from Melbourne airport, carrying around $11,000 in cash. After spending 209 days in custody, she was sentenced in September for recklessly dealing with the proceeds of the crime.

While Judge Martine Marich acknowledged that Manivel hadn’t exhibited malicious intent initially, the court observed a shift in behavior driven by self-interest after being informed of the error. A spokesperson for Crypto.com stated that the incident prompted updates to their refund and withdrawal systems to enhance security and compliance.

This saga serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of financial vigilance and integrity, reminding individuals and companies alike of the potential consequences when errors go unnoticed.

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