Australian Vanishes After Receiving Half a Million Dollars in Crypto Account Error: Report

An Australian man has vanished after allegedly pocketing about half a million dollars when cryptocurrency trading platform Rhino Trading Pty Ltd accidentally added an extra zero to his account, according to an ABC report.

The man who has been named as, Kow Seng Chai, has allegedly pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars after a cryptocurrency trading platform mistakenly credited his account with AUD $995,000 in (US $652,316) instead of AUD $99,500 (US $65,237.)

Rhino Trading Pty Ltd said Chai has failed to respond to requests to return the money. By the time the trading firm picked up the error on February 4, Chai had had used some of the funds to purchase Tether through an account set up by his business Lotte Enterprise Pty Ltd. He withdraw funds in multiple maximum daily instalments of US$100,000.

The 37-year old Mildura man has completely vanished and the Victorian Supreme Court has issued a “freezing order” on his assets and an injunction preventing him from leaving Australia.

Similar Case: Couple Received $10.5M from Crypto.com

This is not first time an error like this has occurred. Back in 2021, a Melbourne couple was set to face a plea trial for a theft charge after inadvertently receiving 10.5 million Australian dollars ($6.7 million) from Crypto.com. The couple, received the funds by mistake, and then proceeded to spend the money before the error was discovered, as reported by Ruholamin Haqshanas from Cryptonews.com.

The incident occurred in May 2021 when Thevamanogari Manivel made a transfer to her partner Jatinder Singh‘s Crypto.com account.  The exchange identified that the bank account did not match the exchange account, and thus issued a refund.

Instead of an AUD $100 ($67) refund, however, it accidentally sent AUD $10.5 million (worth over $7 million) to Melbourne-based investors. The incident went unnoticed until December 2021 when Crypto.com conducted its annual audit.

Couple Claim they Believed they Won a Prize

During the court proceedings in October 2022, the couple claimed that they believed they had won a prize from the crypto exchange.  Singh argued that he had received a notification about a competition from the company in the past.

However, Crypto.com’s compliance officer, Michi Chan Fores, refuted any such competition, stating that the exchange did not send such notifications to its users. In September 2023, Manivel pleaded guilty to recklessly dealing with the proceeds of the crime.

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