The U.S. Attorney in charge of New York – Southern District, Geoffrey Berman notified the public that a resident of Lithuanian by the name Evaldas Rimasauskas admitted that he wired more than $100 million into bank accounts through fraudulent means. The fifty-year-old Lithuanian took the guilty plea in a federal court in Manhattan before Geroge Daniels, a States District Judge.
As reported by Attorney Berman, the defendant confessed that he planned the scheme in which many people were sent fake emails prompting them to send him money. Through manipulation, he made two Internet-based companies in the U.S. to electronically wire the money to various bank accounts all over the world.
Authorities report that he had been swindling money between 2013 and 2015. During this time, Rimasauskas deceived two transnational companies including social media and a technology organization, both of which mainly operated online. The two victim organizations were tricked into wiring funds into bank accounts that Rimasauskas controlled.
He did this by coming up with a company bearing the name of another company based in Asia that dealt in the manufacture of computer hardware. His new company was registered in Latvia, Europe and had all it required to seem like a legit setting. He also opened and solely controlled a number of bank accounts in Cyprus, Eastern Mediterranean and in Latvia under the name of his new company.
Rimasauskas also employed agents and employees who worked in his company and unknowingly assisted him in accomplishing his plot. The victim organizations and the Asian company had a great relationship and regularly carried out transactions between them worth millions of dollars.
Following the employment, he sent phishing emails to the agents and employees of the two victim organizations requesting that the money they owed the Asian company for delivery of goods and provision of services be sent to the bank accounts in Cyprus and Latvia. The victims did not detect any suspicious activity or that they were being manipulated since Rimasauskas’ company and the Asian company had the same names.
Moreover, the emails sent by Rimasauskas were created in such a way that they gave the impression they were from the Asian company, thereby fooling agents and employees of the victim organizations.
After the victims sent money to Rimasauskas’ accounts, he quickly wired the funds into bank accounts from different locations all over the world. These included Cyprus, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, Hong Kong, and Lithuania.
In order to prevent any suspicions by these banks as to the source of large cash deposits, Rimasauskas forged letters, contracts, and invoices making them appear as though they had been signed by the executives and agents of the victim organizations. These documents bore forged company stamps with the victim organizations’ names embossed. They were submitted to all the banks, thereby justifying the large cash inflows.
All these made it possible to transfer money worth more than $100 million from the victim organizations into Rimasauskas’ accounts, yet the organizations thought they were paying their debt to the Asian company.
Lithuanian authorities got to him in 2017 before he caused more losses and arrested him. Five months later, they handed him over to the New York – Southern District authorities.
Investigations determined that the Asian company did not send or authorize any emails sent by Rimasauskas, deeming him as a fraudster.
While in court, he pleaded guilty to a single count of fraudulent money transfer. Rimasauskas faces a penalty of up to three decades in prison as prescribed by Congress. He awaits July for the determination of his sentence by Judge Daniels.
State attorneys in charge of his prosecution are assistants Olga Zverovich and Eun Choi, both from the Cybercrimes and Complex Frauds Unit of the Office of International Affairs.
Berman stated that Rimasauskas thought to carry out this fraudulent scheme from a location far from where he put the stolen money would ensure he never got found out. However, the U.S. authorities have shown him that justice will always catch up with lawbreakers.
Berman praised the FBI for their exemplary work. He also thanked various authorities for taking part in the apprehension of the criminal. These include the Lithuanian authorities such as the Criminal Police Bureau of Lithuania. Others were the Office of the Prosecutor General of Latvia and the Department of Justice among others for their role in investigations, apprehension and handing over of the fraudster.