A Melbourne couple, 37-year-old Jatinder Singh and 40-year-old Thevamanogari Manivel, appeared in the Magistrates’ Court for allegedly pocketing $10.4 million that was mistakenly transferred instead of $100 to an account in a banking error.
A Crypto.com manager told the Melbourne Court that an employee working out of Bulgaria accidentally copied and pasted the account number of her previous job into the refund amount headed back to Thevamanogari’s account. This money was immediately moved out of Thevamanogari’s account into a joint account with Jatinder Singh.
Kalash Mohan, Crypto.com’s general manager, said they first became aware of the mistaken payment in December 2021 after a financial audit in Hong Kong uncovered the error. It is reported that this bungle allegedly led to a multi-million dollar spending spree by the couple.
Daily Mail Australia reports that Jatinder Singh claimed to police that he believed they had ‘won’ the money in a ‘Crypto.com contest’.
Thevamanogari told the court that she was duped by Jatinder Singh into believing that she can use all the money. Her barrister, Jessica Willard, told the court her client did not know the money might have been stolen. Ms Willard added:
“The whole issue in relation to Ms Manivel is the dishonesty element – whether she knew that the money was stolen or not.”
Representatives from the Commonwealth Bank informed the couple that the money had been transferred by mistake into their account.
Detective Senior Constable Conor Healy told Daily Mail Australia that Thevamanogari was “picked up at Melbourne Airport loaded with luggage, wads of cash and a one-way ticket to Malaysia.”
Thevamanogari is a Malaysian international living on a student visa and also working in disability support.
Detective Senior Constable Healy added that Thevamanogari had transferred $4m to an HSBC bank account in Malaysia, $2m of which was later returned, but the other $2m was quickly transferred to unknown accounts.
Senior Constable Healy alleged that $8m had been transferred from Thevamanogari’s account between 24 December 2021 and February 2022. Of this, $1.2m was used to buy a luxury home in Craigieburn and a $56,000 deposit went on a home in Mickleham.
Further, police allege Thevamanogari lavished gifts on her daughters, giving $500,000 to one, $430,000 to another, and $200,000 to a third daughter. Another $70,000 was used to buy her daughter in Melbourne a car and $1.2million gifted to one of Singh’s mates to pay off his mortgage on a Mickleham property.
Police allege that this money was also used to buy furniture, art, and other luxury items.
Justice James Dudley Elliott in his judgment said:
“It is established that the Craigieburn property was acquired with funds traceable to the wrongful payment and would never have been in Gangadory’s hands if the wrongful payment had not been made.”
Crypto.com’s lawyers, Cornwalls Law, told Daily Mail Australia that as the matter is before the courts, it was unable to comment.
Barristers acting for Crypto.com have served paperwork with the Supreme Court of Victoria in an effort to get their money back from Thevamanogari. Crypto.com made freezing orders against Manivel’s bank account, but $10.1m had already been moved to a different joint account. All of the purchased houses had been frozen by the Supreme Court as part of ongoing civil action launched there by Crypto.com.
Jatinder Singh did not apply for bail and remains in custody, while Thevamanogari was given bail by Magistrate Peter Reardon after her brother handed over a $10,000 surety. The police objected to her bail fearing that she might disappear. Thevamanogari will live with her daughter in Dandenong and avoid international points of departure.
Jatinder Singh and Thevamanogari Manivel both have pleaded not guilty to the charges and will be brought to the County Court of Victoria next month.