(Gray News) - Asking nicely can take you far in life.
Evaldas Rimasauskas learned, it can make you a multi-millionaire. But as the 50-year-old Lithuanian also learned, asking for money under false pretenses will land you in a lot of legal trouble.
Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York said Rimasauskas stole more than $100 million from Google and Facebook.
Rimasauskas pleaded guilty on March 20 to one count of wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 24 and faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.
“As Evaldas Rimasauskas admitted today, he devised a blatant scheme to fleece U.S. companies out of $100 million, and then siphoned those funds to bank accounts around the globe,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said
Rimasauskas faces almost certain deportation once his sentence has been served. The terms of his plea deal required him to forfeit $49.7 million.
From 2013, through 2015, he sent phishing emails to the tech giants while pretending to be Quanta Computer, according to Reuters.
The Taiwan-based hardware company routinely makes multi-million-dollar transactions with Facebook and Google.
Once the victims wired the money to banks in Cyprus and Latvia, Rimasaukas moved the funds to different bank accounts he controlled across the globe, including ones in Hong Kong, Slovakia, Lithuania and Hungary.
Prosecutors said he forged invoices to make it look like employees at Facebook and Google signed off on the transaction.
“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.
Lithuanian authorities arrested Rimasauska in March 2017. He was extradited to the United States that August.
Facebook, who lost $100 million, told The New York Times it managed to recover most of its money. Google said it’s recouped all of the $23 million that had been stolen.