x

Society

Lithuanian Man Pleads Guilty in $100M Internet Fraud Case

March 22, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — A Lithuanian man who duped Google and Facebook into transferring over $100 million into accounts he controlled pleaded guilty to wire fraud Wednesday.

Evaldas Rimasauskas, 50, of Vilnius, Lithuania, entered the plea in federal court in Manhattan, where Judge George B. Daniels set a July 24 sentencing date.

The charge could carry as many as 30 years in prison and a fine of as much as $1 million or twice the crime’s proceeds. The plea deal he reached with prosecutors said Rimasauskas faces almost certain deportation once he finishes behind bars.

Rimasauskas was extradited in August 2017 to New York from Lithuania after his arrest there in March 2017. He has been detained since.

According to court documents, Google sent over $23 million and Facebook nearly $100 million to bank accounts he controlled.

Google, of Mountain View, California, has said it has recouped its money. Facebook, of Menlo Park, California, has said it recovered most of its money.

According to a plea agreement, Rimasauskas has agreed to forfeit $49.7 million, including money in financial accounts in Cyprus and Latvia.

The plea agreement also recommends that he be sent to prison for at least nine years.

In a release, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Rimasauskas devised “a blatant scheme to fleece U.S. companies out of $100 million, and then siphoned those funds to bank accounts around the globe.”

“Rimasauskas thought he could hide behind a computer screen halfway across the world while he conducted his fraudulent scheme, but as he has learned, the arms of American justice are long, and he now faces significant time in a U.S. prison,” Berman said.

In court, Rimasauskas said he carried out the scheme from October 2013 to October 2016.

Prosecutors said he created a company in Latvia that bore the same name as an Asian-based computer hardware manufacturer and then sent fraudulent phishing emails to Google and Facebook to steer money to his accounts that were supposed to go to the legitimate hardware company.

Once the money arrived, Rimasauskas transferred funds to bank accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary and Hong Kong, prosecutors said.

He then used forged invoices, contracts and letters to make it appear that executives at Facebook and Google had authorized the transactions, the government said.

“I fully understand these actions were fraudulent,” Rimasauskas told Daniels through an interpreter.


By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press

RELATED

It was a close brush with death but a 40-year-old British tourist bitten by a deadly viper while at a yoga retreat on Cyprus is recovering after getting swift hospitalization to counteract the venom.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Indians Vote in the First Phase of the World’s Largest Election as Modi Seeks a Third Term

NEW DELHI (AP) — Millions of Indians began voting Friday in a six-week election that's a referendum on Narendra Modi, the populist prime minister who has championed an assertive brand of Hindu nationalist politics and is seeking a rare third term as the country's leader.

ASTORIA – The Greek Cultural Center (GCC) in collaboration with Boann Books and Media present ‘Boann and the Well of Wisdom’ at the GCC, 26-80 30th Street in Astoria, April 25-28, one weekend only.

ALBANY – New York State Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R, C-Staten Island/Brooklyn) released a statement on April 18 concerning the state budget.

NEW YORK (AP) — A man who doused himself in an accelerant and set himself on fire outside the courthouse where former President Donald Trump is on trial has died, police said.

WASHINGTON (AP) — After its midnight deadline, the Senate voted early Saturday to reauthorize a key U.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.