A Melbourne couple face trial over $10.4 million they mistakenly received from a cryptocurrency firm due to an administrative error on items including a $1.2 million home will stand trial.
The 37-year-old Jatinder Singh and his 40-year-old partner, Thevamanogari Manivel, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, when it was revealed that Crypto.com had meant to deposit $100 into Manivel’s Australian bank account in May 2021, but instead paid $10.4 million.
Singh, who had an account with Crypto.com, said he had won the money from the firm before his boyfriend, a Malaysian national, was detained at Melbourne Airport in March with a one-way ticket to Malaysia and $11,000 in cash.
Ivona Vasileva Tsanova had been employed at the company’s Bulgarian office when she made the mega-million dollar blunder. Bulgarian Ivona Vasileva Tsanova accidentally transferred more than $10million to an Australian bank account
Melbourne Couple to Face Trial Over $10.4M Bulgarian Blunder. Image: Dailymail
$4 million was allegedly transferred to an offshore bank account. Other amounts were spent on a $1.2 million home in Craigieburn and three other properties, a car, art, furniture, and gifts to friends in Melbourne, totalling more than $1 million each.
Since then, a Supreme Court has frozen Manivel’s Australian bank accounts and assets. When the identities on the bank account and Singh’s crypto wallet did not match, the $100 transaction was noticed internally, and Crypto.com intended to restore that sum alone to Manivel’s bank account, according to police allegations.
The company’s general manager, Kalash Mohan, stated that Crypto.com knew about the erroneous payment in December 2021, when a Hong Kong financial audit found the issue.
According to the examination, a Bulgarian employee inadvertently put $10,400,000 into an Excel spreadsheet.
According to Senior Constable Conor Healy, Singh revealed during a police interrogation that he had won the money from Crypto.com.
Once the erroneous funds arrived at Manivel’s account, authorities believe they were transferred to a joint Westpac account held by the pair.
Seven months later, Manivel allegedly received a phone call from the Commonwealth Bank concerning the monies, but she suspected it was a fraud.
The court heard that on the same day, $2 million was reportedly moved into an offshore bank account.
According to court records, Singh, an Indian native, was jobless and unlawfully residing in Australia at the time of the accused offence.
Manivel, who works in elderly care and disability services, has been in Australia on a student visa for the past six years. However, based on the quantity of stuff she had at the airport, the authorities assumed she had no intention of returning.
Her attorney said that Manivel intended to visit family in Malaysia after discovering that her son and ex-husband had been detained for unrelated offences.
The police report that around $7.7 million has been recovered, while more than $2 million is still unaccounted for abroad.
Manivel entered a not-guilty plea to the charge of carelessly dealing with funds and suspected proceeds of crime. Singh pleaded not guilty to stealing and trading in items suspected of being the proceeds of a crime.
Peter Reardon, the magistrate, committed the two to the County Court for trial at a later date. He also granted bail to Manivel.
Reardon recognised that the lady had been detained for more than 200 days and that it was unlikely that her trial would begin until at least a year.
As part of her release conditions, Manivel must post a $10,000 surety from her brother, report to the police weekly, reside in Dandenong with her daughter, and avoid foreign departure points.
Singh remains in custody.