Victorian Man Vanishes with Half a Million Dollars in Crypto

By Ben Knight February 26, 2024 In Crypto Wallets, Cryptocurrency
  • A Mildura man received an extra zero on a standard $95K deposit while using the trading platform OTCPro.
  • After receiving the windfall, the man suddenly vanished, becoming uncontactable despite several attempts by the exchange.
  • An Australian court has ordered the man’s accounts to be frozen and has prevented him from leaving the country.
  • The news comes as another man was sentenced after spending AUD $10M he accidentally received from

What would you do if close to $1 million accidentally hit your crypto trading account? I’m sure we all like to think we’re Good Samaritans that would report it to the relevant authorities immediately…but it seems like not everyone is as noble as us. A Mildura man has, for lack of a better term, legged it after crypto exchange Rhino Trading (OTCPro) returned $995K to his trading account rather than the correct amount, $95K. 

Close to $1M Withdrawn in Tether

It took a few days for OTCPro to pick up on the accounting error – and by then, it was too late. The man responsible, Kow Seng Chai, acted quickly by converting the cash into the USD-pegged stablecoin Tether (USDT) and withdrawing it in the platform’s max installments of USD $100K (AUD $152K). When all was said and done, Mr Chai withdrew about AUD $956K, of which close to half a million belonged to OTCPro.

The company moved into action, attempting to repeatedly contact Mr Chai regarding the extra zero added to his account. The team sent email after email and even tried his listed mobile number. However, these all failed. In fact, when reaching out by phone number, someone answered but insisted that they were not Mr Chai.

To make matters more concerning, Mr Chai’s account – registered as a business called Lotte Enterprise – may have submitted “inauthentic” documents to prove its business activity.


In better news for OTCPro, a submission to the Victorian Supreme Court proved successful, with Judge Justice Michael Osborne freezing Mr. Chai’s assets and preventing him from legally leaving Australia. However, whether this proves successful in finding the man and recovering the lost money remains to be seen.

Melbourne Man Sentenced for Stealing Millions From

This is not the first time an Aussie has been embroiled in a similar theft case. Just four days ago, another man from Down Under admitted to going on a spending spree after accidentally transferred $10M into his girlfriend’s trading account.  

The duo responsible attempted to flee Australia, however one was arrested at Tullamarine airport after booking a one-way flight to Malaysia, while the other was nabbed a week later. Manivel copped a sentence of 209 days in prison – considered already served – and will have to complete 18 months of community service.

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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