A Lithuanian man faces up to 30 years in prison after admitting to his role in a scheme that bilked Google and Facebook out of $121 million (£92 million), Bloomberg reports.
According to the news outlet, Evaldas Rimasauskas pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of wire fraud in relation to the phishing scheme that conned the two tech giants.
Fortune first identified the corporate victims of the scheme last year with an investigation that revealed Rimasauskas allegedly created fake corporate stamps, email addresses, and invoices purporting to be from Quanta Computer, a Taiwan-based supplier that has worked with major tech companies including Amazon, Apple, Sony, and Verizon. Over the course of two years, from around 2013 to 2015, the Quanta imposter reportedly conned the accounting departments of Facebook and Google into transferring tens of millions of dollars into foreign bank accounts.
A statement from the Southern District of New York US District Court states Rimasauskas’s scheme took over $100 million dollars from two companies. Bloomberg reports that a source who wanted to remain anonymous (since the targeted companies had not been publicly identified by prosecutors) said that Google gave about $23 million (£17 million) and Facebook gave about $98 million (£74 million) to the fraudsters.
Rimasauskas was arrested in March and extradited to New York last August. On Wednesday, he agreed to forfeit $49.7 million (£37.6 million) through a plea agreement that recommends Rimasauskas go to prison for at least nine years.
“Rimasauskas thought he could hide behind a computer screen halfway across the world while he conducted his fraudulent scheme,” US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement issued by the Southern District of New York US District Court. “But as he has learned, the arms of American justice are long, and he now faces significant time in a US prison.”
Responding to a request for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said, “Facebook recovered the bulk of the funds shortly after the incident and has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation.”
A Google spokesperson told Gizmodo that the company detected the fraud and told the authorities. “We recouped the funds and we’re pleased this matter is resolved,” the spokesperson said.
Somehow, it isn’t exactly reassuring to learn it’s this easy to dupe two of the biggest tech companies in the world. [Bloomberg]
Featured image: Stephen Lam (Getty)