Chicago area fashion designer suddenly lost more than $100,000 from his PayPal account — what happened?

CHICAGO (CBS) — A south suburban man is recovering from several sleepless nights after more than $100,000 suddenly vanished from his PayPal account.

The money is back where it belongs now, but Morning Insider Lauren Victory discovered the mystery remains: Why did all that cash disappear in the first place?

Young LA fashion designer Jerdani Kraja pieced through new clothing for CBS 2’s cameras. He was scheduled to debut them on Instagram this week to the 419,000 people who follow his company’s account. 

Instead, the influencer has been too distracted – recording several videos of his frustration battling online banking platform PayPal and posting them to his personal page.

A whopping $103,000 was removed from Kraja’s PayPal account within the span of an hour through a series of transactions. The charges were currency conversion fees deducted by PayPal.

The 32 transactions in question involved the exchange of U.S. dollars to foreign currency like Russian rubles, and back. For example, at one point, around $114,000 returned as only $106,000, because of that currency conversion fee.

“They drained 8 grand in that conversion, and then they drained 6 grand on that conversion, and then they drained 3 grand on that conversion,” Kraja said, pointing to his laptop screen showing his account. “It makes zero sense. No money was withdrawn. No money was stolen or taken.”

Tens of thousands have seen Kraja’s angry Instagram posts, which include snippets of his conversations with PayPal customer service representatives.

Why did he decide to record those videos?  

“I could not believe this was happening to me, and I figured no one would believe this story,” he said. 

In one recording shared with CBS 2, you can hear someone tell Kraja he’s probably out of luck. Then, PayPal called him Tuesday night to offer his money back – but Wednesday morning, the refund still hadn’t happened.

It had been six days since the money disappeared. Kraja said he hadn’t been sleeping well.

During CBS 2’s interview with Kraja, a PayPal representative called us and promised again to reimburse the $100,000 in fees. 

“Look at that – the money is back in my account,” he said, just a few hours after we wrapped up.

So what happened? Sources say this wasn’t the work of a hacker, but someone close to the social media influencer. 

He says that’s impossible. 

Kraja also filed complaints with police and the FBI, but as of now, who caused the triggering of those massive currency conversion fees remains unknown. 

In a statement, PayPal said: 

“Our top priority is to ensure the safety and security of our customer’s money. PayPal takes this responsibility very seriously and we go to great lengths to prevent misuse of our services. PayPal worked in good faith to waive the currency exchange fees and have returned the full amount to the account. Our customer service teams are always available to help resolve issues and we strive to do the right thing for our customers in these situations.”