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A modern Robin Hood would probably start his altruistic thievery by targeting tech companies. Where the folk hero is all about stealing from the rich to give to the poor, however, a Lithuanian man who plead guilty to stealing $122 million from Google and Facebook was only in it for himself.
That man’s name is Evaldas Rimasauskas. He plead guilty to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering after stealing $99 million from Facebook and $23 million from Google. The crimes took place between 2013 and 2015, and honestly, they seem all too easy given how lucrative they were.
Here’s how Rimasauskas did it: he sent fake invoices, contracts, and letters to Facebook and Google pretending to be Quanta Computer. He also forged emails meant to look like they’d come from company executives. It’s not surprising that someone attempted this scheme; it’s surprising that it worked.
To be fair, the payments were apparently routed to bank accounts in at least six different countries, and Rimasauskas actually founded a company called Quanta Computer in Latvia. (The actual Quanta Computer is based in Taiwan.) So he did put a little bit more effort into the plot than it would seem.
Rimasauskas agreed to return nearly $50 million of the money he stole. He faces nearly 30 years in prison depending on whether or not he’s found guilty of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and three counts of money laundering charges. His sentencing date has been set for July 24.
Still, it almost feels like anyone who can dupe two of the world’s largest tech companies into paying more than $100 million by forging invoices has actually earned that money. Rimasauskas was no Robin Hood, but he still targeted some of the richest entities on Earth, and to bafflingly good effect.