A 48 year-old Lithuanian man was arrested for carrying out a sophisticated phishing scam on two multinational companies, which landed him more than $100 million in banking transactions.
The scam involved tricking the two companies into thinking he was representing a legitimate hardware manufacturer in Asia and convincing them to wire money into accounts he controlled. Forging contracts, invoices, and letters, Evaldas Rimasauskas convinced the two companies that they owed his company money and demanded payment via wire transfers.
Through multiple bank accounts he controlled in Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary and Hong Kong, Rimasauskas moved the money around to avoid detection. His arrest was possible due to the cooperation of banks and the FBI that also lead to recovering an undisclosed amount of the wired transactions.
“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,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim. “And 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 report claims that Rimasauskas’s scam ran from 2013 through 2015, and he only targeted companies that dealt with multimillion-dollar transactions. While it’s unclear if more than two companies fell victim to Rimasauskas’s scam, he has been charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.
“The charges and arrest in this case were made possible thanks to the terrific work of the FBI and the cooperation of the victim companies and their financial institutions,” said the Acting U.S. Attorney. “We thank the companies and their banks for acting quickly, coming forward promptly, and cooperating with law enforcement; it led not only to the charges announced today, but also the recovery of much of the stolen funds.”
Each of those charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, but it up to the judge to rule how much jail time Rimasauskas could serve, if convicted.