CANBERRA, KOMPAS.com – An Australian couple has been accused of stealing after spending more than $10.5 million (Rp 161.5 billion) in mis-transferred money from a crypto company.
Thevamanogari Manivel and Jatinder Singh emerged via video link from prison in a Melbourne court on Tuesday (11/10/2022), as they committed to stand trial for theft and other charges.
Both were released on bail pending trial, despite claims that he allegedly tried to flee abroad.
Also read: Do Kwon, the pioneer of the Terra Crypto currency, is being hunted by South Korea after its value plummeted
The second case began in May 2021. Crypto.com at that time intended to return Manivel’s 100 US dollars.
However, he instead received 10.47 million US dollars due to a delivery error.
The company was not aware of the delivery error until an audit was then conducted in December 2021.
“A worker in Bulgaria, who was processing a refund, had entered the wrong number into spreadsheet Excel,” Michi Chan Fores, Crypto.com’s compliance officer, told the court Guardian.
Once processed, he said, the refund request was sent to a payment provider in Australia, who then transferred the money to Manivel’s Commonwealth Bank account.
Also read: US authorities ask for Binance’s internal records, investigate crypto-laundering
The Crypto.com account used is in Singh’s name, but the transfer may have been sent to Manivel’s account when he used his bank card to buy cryptocurrency (cryptocurrency), according to the court.
Singh allegedly thought he had won money after being notified by the Crypto.com app about a competition. This is also what he said to Manivel.
However, Fores claims there is no such competition and says that Crypto.com does not send automated notifications to notify users of competition wins.
According to the court, the money was allegedly used to buy four houses, while US$4 million was transferred to a Malaysian bank account. The rest is paid for gifts, vehicles, art, and furniture.
Most of the money has been paid back, but about $3 million remains unpaid, with civil action underway to freeze property and get money back from relatives of the suspect.
Also read: Crypto Queen Enters the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive List, There is a Prize of IDR 1.5 Billion for Informants
Manivel pleaded not guilty to three counts, including theft from Commonwealth Bank for withdrawing money and failing to handle proceeds of crime.
He was arrested at Melbourne airport in March while allegedly trying to fly back to Malaysia on a one-way ticket, along with about $11,000 in cash – another charge.
Singh pleaded not guilty to charges including theft for withdrawing Crypto.com money from the bank.
Manivel’s attorney, Jessica Willard, has applied for her client to be released on $10,000 bail from her brother.
She said Manivel had no idea any criminal charges had been brought against her when she tried to fly home to see her ex-husband and children.
Manivel has been in custody since his arrest more than six months ago and faces another year behind bars before the trial begins, Willard said.
Also read: Crypto Assets Drop, Fundraising for Ukraine Gets Battered
The prosecution challenged the bail on the grounds that Manivel was at risk of going abroad and his release could hinder the recovery of the money supply.
Judge Peter Reardon bailed Manivel with strict conditions, including that he surrendered his passport and could not use any of the departures.
Manivel and Singh will face a referral hearing in a district court on November 8.
Get updates featured news and breaking news every day from Kompas.com. Let’s join the Telegram group “Kompas.com News Update”, how to click the link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, then join. You must first install the Telegram application on your cellphone.