A man has pleaded guilty to stealing a combined $122 million from Google and Facebook between 2013 and 2015.
Evaldas Rimasauskas of Lithuania managed to steal $99m from Facebook and $23m from Google by way of a simple plan: he sent invoices to the tech giants for items they hadn’t ordered. Astonishingly, both companies paid up.
A story at Boing Boing explains that the invoices were sent alongside a variety of forged paperwork, including contracts and falsely signed letters, to maintain an air of legitimacy. Rimasauskas even mocked up emails that appeared to come from corporate executives to support his demands for payment.
The plan was further bolstered by Rimasauskas pretending to be Taiwanese hardware company Quanta Computer Inc. He even registered a company of that name in Latvia to help cement the credentials.
So meticulous was his plan, no one at Facebook or Google checked to see if Rimasauskas’s invoices were legitimate. They simply paid them. Rimasauskas then transferred the money to bank accounts set up in Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Latvia.
Rimasauskas was eventually discovered by Google, and now faces charges of US wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. He has agreed to forfeit $50m, and could face up to 30 years imprisonment when he is sentenced on July 29.