The technical term is “D’oh!”
Crypto.com, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges and namesake for a certain Los Angeles sports venue, mistakenly sent $7.2 million to an Australian woman instead of the $68 refund she was due.
Now it wants the money back.
Apparently the transfer was made in May 2021 after a Crypto.com employee accidentally typed an account number in the payment amount field.
The woman, identified in the Aussie media as Thevamanogari Manivel, didn’t report the massive overpayment to the company.
Instead, she reportedly moved the money into a different account and splurged more than $890,000 on a five-bedroom home for her sister.
Crypto.com only became aware of the snafu after conducting an audit in December of last year.
The company is now suing to get the money back.
The snickering this situation merits notwithstanding, Crypto.com’s bonehead play serves as a cautionary tale for Americans who may similarly receive money they’re not due.
Bottom line: There’s no “finders keepers” rule in finance.
If you receive funds in error, that doesn’t make the money yours. It’s your responsibility to immediately report any questionable deposits.
If you fail to do so, the depositor is on firm legal ground in first requesting the return of the cash and then pursuing all means to make you shell out.
Do not — repeat, do not — spend any money that you can’t account for. That won’t make it yours.
What it will do is put you in serious financial jeopardy when the bank or crypto exchange or whoever demands to be made whole again.
In Manivel’s case, a freeze was put on her account in February. A court subsequently ordered her to sell the house she purchased and return all the money (with interest) to Crypto.com.
Pennies from heaven is a nice thought.
But the real world doesn’t work that way.