A man hailing from Lithuania has been charged with duping US-based tech firms of millions after making them believe that he is the recipient of the Asia-based supplier the US firms regularly deal with. The two tech giants that have been the victims of the mega fraud has later been identified as Facebook and Google with the amount swindled out of them also amounting to a huge $100 million.
However, while further investigations are still on, the two companies maintained they have managed to recover most or all of the money they paid to 48-year-old Evaldas Rimasauskas. None of the firms however disclosed how much they each paid to Rimasauskas.
The Asian firm has also been identified as the Taiwan-based Quanta Computer founded in the late 1980s that happen to be a regular supplier of parts to both Facebook and Google. Both the US-based companies have contracted Quanta to supply them servers to feed their ever increasing data center requirements.
The case, in fact, dates back to 2013 when the scam was first detected though it is only now that the details have emerged. The Department of Justice has confirmed Rimasauskas is in custody in Lithuania and is contesting extradition proceedings to the US.
Charges against Rimasauskas include money laundering, online fraud, and identity theft. What is extraordinary though is that such firms of the scale of Facebook and Google that are themselves supposed to have stringent anti-email phishing mechanisms in place have themselves been victim to such scams.
What is also interesting is the manner the entire thing has been kept under wraps and away from public eyes. Experts though believe that there has been a ploy to prevent the embarrassment of having to undergo an investor’s scrutiny.
Subsequent investigations revealed Rimasauskas had stashed away the cash he received in multiple accounts in European and Asian countries like Latvia, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Slovenia, Hungary, and Lithuania. He might end up serving 20-years of prison term for each transaction fraud committed or a much lighter 2-year sentence for identity theft if convicted.