Hold onto your hats, folks, because this is a wild ride! Imagine waking up one day, checking your bank account, and finding an extra $10 million in there. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, for one unsuspecting woman, it became a reality, and not in a good way.
When Lady Luck Smiled… Briefly
Meet Thevamanogari Manivel, a hardworking 41-year-old disability support worker and a mom of three. One day, out of the blue, her bank account ballooned by a whopping $10 million. And what did she do? She packed her bags, grabbed $11,000 in cash, and booked a one-way ticket to Malaysia. But before she could say “Bon Voyage,” the law caught up with her at Melbourne airport.
Here’s the kicker: this wasn’t some lottery win. Crypto.com, a big-shot in the crypto world, had mistakenly sent over $10 million to Manivel’s account. And guess what? They didn’t even realize their blunder for seven whole months!
From Cloud Nine to Behind Bars
You’d think Manivel hit the jackpot, but this windfall turned out to be more of a curse. She got slapped with a charge for recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime. The result? An 18-month community corrections order, six months of intensive compliance, and a ton of community service. And let’s not forget the 209 days she had already spent locked up.
Crypto World in Chaos
This wasn’t just a hiccup for Manivel. The entire crypto community felt the tremors. This blunder came right before another big player, FTX, crashed and burned. Talk about bad timing!
A bit of backstory: Manivel moved to Australia in 2015, fleeing a toxic relationship. She had dreams of reuniting with her kids once she settled down. From cleaning motels to working on cotton farms, she did it all. She even went back to school, earning certificates in aged care and pathology.
Blame It on Excel
Now, you might be wondering, how did this all happen? Well, it’s all thanks to a tiny mistake on an Excel spreadsheet. A worker in Bulgaria, trying to process a refund, accidentally punched in the account number into the refund field. Instead of a $100 refund, Manivel got a mind-blowing $10.47 million!
Her partner, Singh, noticed the error and tried to fix it. But before they could set things right, they went on a spending spree—houses, cars, art, and even a $4 million transfer to Malaysia.
When Crypto.com finally caught their mistake in December 2021, they went into full damage control. They hounded the Commonwealth Bank to get their money back and tried to contact Manivel multiple times. But by then, $4 million had already left the country.
Manivel thought the bank’s calls were scams. She even believed Singh when he said they’d won a Crypto.com contest. But as the truth unraveled, it became clear she was looking out for number one.
A Twist in the Tale
Judge Marich noted that while the money was recovered and Manivel wasn’t initially scheming, her actions later became self-centered. Instead of the hardworking woman trying to provide for her family, she seemed to be driven by greed.
Now, with all the legal drama, Manivel’s visa hangs in the balance, even as she continues her education.
The Moral of the Story
Cryptocurrency is a wild, wild world. The Crypto.com saga is a testament to how quickly things can turn upside down. It’s a tale of caution, showing us that in the digital age, one small error can have life-changing consequences.