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Lithuanian man pleads guilty to trick Google and Facebook


A Lithuanian man named Evaldas Rimasauskas, aged 50, admitted that he helped to trick Google and Facebook into sending S$163 million (US$ 121 million) via a phishing scheme. The 50-year-old Lithuanian was pleaded guilty before George Daniels, the US District Judge, on March 20, 2019, under an agreement with the prosecutors to one count of wire fraud, and will forfeit an amount of US$ 49.7 million.


Rimasauskas was arrested in Mar. 2017 from Lithuania. He was extradited to U.S. (i.e. to New York) in Aug. 2017. The Lithuanian may faces 30 yr. of prison when he will be sentenced in the month of July.


Prosecutors alleged that the Lithuanian, along with some other unidentified co-conspirators, has helped to orchestrate a scheme where fake e-mails have been sent to Google and Facebook's agents and employees. The thieves then pretend to represent Quanta Computer, the Taiwanese hardware maker. They told workers of Google and Facebook that their companies owed money to Quanta, and then directed to send the payments to bank accounts that are controlled by scammers.


Geoffrey Berman, US Attorney, in Manhattan stated that "Rimasauskas thought he could hide behind a computer screen halfway across the world while he conducted his fraudulent scheme, but as he has learnt, the arms of American justice are long, and he now faces significant time in a US prison".


Rimasauskas, speaking in Russian language, through a translator told the judge that he has taken part in this fraud scheme between October 2013 and October 2015 by posing as an employee of Quanta as well as by creating bank accounts in Cyprus and Latvia that are fake to receive scammed proceeds. During this period, he also signed fake contracts along with documents which were submitted to the banks in order to support wire transfers.


The scheme netted around US$ 23 million in 2013 from Google and around US$ 98 million in 2015 from Facebook, as per a person who is familiar with this case. The person has asked not to disclose the name, as the companies were not publicly identified as victims by the prosecutors.


In a statement, Google said that the fraud was detected by them and thus they promptly alerted authorities and has recovered the funds. Similarly as per a statement by Facebook, they said that "Facebook recovered the bulk of the funds shortly after the incident and has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation".


» SPAMfighter News - 4/9/2019

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