Phisher duped two US tech firms in US$100m scam

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has revealed an indictment against a Lithuanian scammer, who successfully duped two US technology companies via fraudulent e-mails into wiring him more than US$100m.

The scammer, Evaldas Rimasauskas, persuaded the two companies –  identified only as a multinational technology company and a multinational online social media company – that he was a prominent Asian hardware manufacturer and tricked employees into depositing tens of millions of dollars into bank accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, and other countries.

He was able to create fake contracts on forged company letterhead, fake bank invoices and other apparently official documents to convince employees of the two companies to send him money.

“This case should serve as a wake-up call to all companies – even the most sophisticated – that they too can be victims of phishing attacks by cyber criminals,” commented acting US attorney Joon H. Kim.

“This arrest should serve as a warning to all cyber criminals that we will work to track them down, wherever they are, to hold them accountable. The charges and arrest in this case were made possible thanks to the terrific work of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the cooperation of the victim companies and their financial institutions.”

Rimasauskas was first indicted last December, but the DoJ has now released the documents after arresting him last week. He has been charged with one count of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, and aggravated identity theft, with each charge of wire fraud and laundering carrying a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

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