Tech firms paid out $100m to fake suppliers

31 March 2017

A Lithuanian man has been arrested for tricking more than $100m out of two US technology companies by pretending to be a supplier.

Evaldas Rimasauskas, 48, of Vilnius, is facing charges of wire fraud and money laundering in the US after the FBI claimed he had organised a fraudulent email scheme.

Rimasauskas is alleged to have persuaded two US-based internet companies to wire a total of over $100m to bank accounts he had set up bearing the same name as suppliers to those companies.

Acting US attorney Joon Kim said: “From half a world away, Evaldas Rimasauskas allegedly targeted multinational internet companies and tricked their agents and employees into wiring over $100m to overseas bank accounts under his control.

“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.”

While the FBI did not name the victim companies, the agency described them as a multinational technology company and a multinational online social media company.

The agency claimed Rimasauskas registered a company in Latvia that bore the same name as an Asian-based computer hardware manufacturer.

He is accused of pretending to be an employee of the Asian supplier and sending emails demanding payment for goods and services to the victim companies using email accounts designed to look like they were from the genuine supplier.

It is also alleged that he forged invoices, contracts and letters and used false corporate stamps embossed with the victim companies’ names.

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