A March indictment by the Department of Justice first revealed news of the arrest of a Lithuanian man to have allegedly conned $100 million in wire transfers from American tech giants. The two companies who wired $100 million to the imposter over a course of two long years are revealed to be none other than Google and Facebook.
At the time of the original report, the victim companies’ identities were kept under wraps by the Justice Department. However, a Fortune investigation has now revealed details of how the Lithuanian national pulled off the elaborate and sweeping phishing scheme by targeting and getting the better of two of the biggest technology companies around, Google and Facebook.
Lithuanian national Evaldas Rimasauskas, a 40-something man, first began plotting his scheme in 2013. He forged email addresses, invoices, corporate stamps and other letterheads to impersonate an Asian manufacturing giant that routinely conducted business with the two companies. Fortune’s investigation revealed that Asian manufacturer to be Quanta Computer. Founded in Taiwan in 1988, the manufacturer is a supplier to American companies including the likes of Apple and Amazon.
The fraudster succeeded in getting the companies to pay for computer supplies, by having them make transfers worth tens of millions of dollars with each transaction. It was two years before the firms realized their folly and Rimasauskas had siphoned $100 million in payments from the two companies to place the money in multiple bank accounts across Eastern Europe.
Over the course of its investigation, both Facebook and Google confirmed that they were the fraudster’s victims to Fortune.
A Facebook spokesperson told Fortune:
Facebook recovered the bulk of the funds shortly after the incident and has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation.
Facebook, like Google, buys large orders of computer servers from Quanta, the report revealed, making both of them ripe targets for the hacker.
A Google spokesperson added:
We detected this fraud against our vendor management team and promptly alerted the authorities. We recouped the funds and we’re pleased this matter is resolved.
Rimasauskas has denied the allegations and much of the money has since been recovered.
Image credit: Pixabay.
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