Man Tricked Facebook And Google Out Of $141 Million By Sending Fake Invoices

A man has admitted to scamming Facebook and Google into paying more than AUD$141 million by sending them fake invoices.  

Lithuanian man Evaldas Rimasauskas, 50, last week pleaded guilty in a U.S court to wire fraud as part of his role in a "fraudulent business email compromise scheme", according to United States Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

The scheme induced two U.S.-based internet companies -- identified in media reports as Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google -- to wire over US$100 million (AUD$141 million) into bank accounts Rimasauskas controlled, between 2013 and 2015.

Rimasauskas was extradited to New York in August 2017 after his arrest. On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Facebook has been caught up in the phishing scheme. (Image AAP)

"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 a statement.

Prosecutors allege Rimasauskas registered and incorporated a company in Latvia with the same name as Asian-based computer hardware manufacturer Quanta Computer.

He, along with some unidentified co-conspirators, devised a scheme in which fake emails were sent to employees of the two tech companies.

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The emails are purported to have said the companies owed Quanta money and directed payments back to bank accounts in Latvia  and Cyprus controlled by the fraudsters.

Image: Getty Images

"Rimasauskas caused the stolen funds to be quickly wired into different bank accounts in various locations throughout the world, including Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary, and Hong Kong," the statement read, according to allegations contained in the indictment.

The 50-year-old told the judge he took part in the fraud scheme between October 2013 and October 2015, according to local media reports. 

The scheme is reported to have netted about US $23 million from Google in 2013 and about US $98 million from Facebook in 2015, according to an unnamed person familiar with the case.

Rimasauskas will be sentenced in July and faces up to 30 years in prison.

Featured image: AAP