In a classic case of the fat fingers, crypto exchange Crypto.com accidentally transferred $10.5m AUD (~7.2 million USD) to an Australian woman’s account. What’s more, the company discovered the error after almost seven months.
The error was attributed to an employee who accidentally typed an account number in the payment field, while processing the woman’s refund of $100 AUD (~$68). The transfer was done way back in May 2021, but was only caught in an internal audit in December 2021.
Meanwhile the woman, Thevamanogari Manivel, had already moved the funds to a different account and spent $1.3 million AUD (~890,000 USD) on a five-bedroom house for her sister. Unfortunately for Manivel, the court ordered her to sell the house and return the crypto exchange’s money with interest. Crypto.com was also able to get the court to freeze Manivel’s account a few months back.
Attempts to serve Gangadory the freezing orders were unsuccessful, as she never responded to emails from Crypto.com’s solicitors. The only communication provided to the court was an email reply to Manivel’s solicitors saying “received, thank you”. Manivel’s solicitors informed Crypto.com that Gangadory was “seeking legal advice”, the court heard.
– Excerpt from The Guardian
The court case is due to resume in October, and most likely Crypto.com will be able to get the entire amount back. Fat finger errors are also seen often in traditional banking channels. Recently, due to such an error the Citigroup lost over $50 million, when a trader mistakenly added an extra zero to a trade during European market hours.
As for Crypto.com, their fortunes seem to be on the decline after the onset of crypto winter. In June, the company announced that it was laying off 5 percent of its workforce, around 260 employees. Many sources also told The Verge that the company fired additional employees quietly after the initial layoffs.