A Lithuanian citizen, Evaldas Rimasauskas, was able to trick Facebook and Google into paying him a total of $122 million by forging bills and contracts. He stole approximately $99 million from Facebook and $23 million from Google.
His plan looks simple but was actually comprehensively laid, which is why it worked. He registered a fake company under the name of a Taiwanese hardware giant Quanta Computer Inc. and opened bank accounts all around the world including Lithuania, Hungary, Cyprus, Slovakia, and Latvia.
He then forged bills or hardware purchase and contracts with signs of the company’s executives. He also managed to forge the embossed stamps of both the companies. We can only imagine the research and hard work that went into this.
Later, he started sending the bills to both the companies, Facebook and Google dutifully started paying the bills via wire transfer until Google suspected there was something wrong and notified the authorities.
It is pretty surprising, how companies as large as Facebook and Google did not recheck the invoices and sent the money without any confirmation.
However, Evaldas Rimasauskas has pleaded guilty and is ready to pay $50 million as a penalty. Nobody knows where the rest of the money went according to the US authorities. He will be jailed for at least 30 years under the crime of identity theft and money laundering charges.
According to Google’s statement to CNet,
We detected this fraud and promptly alerted the authorities. We recouped the funds and we’re pleased this matter is resolved.
Facebook hasn’t given out a statement on the matter.