Lithuanian pleads guilty in U.S. to massive fraud against Google, Facebook
By Brendan Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Lithuanian man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to U.S. charges that he helped orchestrate a scheme to defraud Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google out of more than $100 million, federal prosecutors announced. Evaldas Rimasauskas, 50, entered his plea to one count of wire fraud before U.S
By Brendan Pierson
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Lithuanian man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to U.S. charges that he helped orchestrate a scheme to defraud Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google out of more than $100 million, federal prosecutors announced.
Evaldas Rimasauskas, 50, entered his plea to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison at his sentencing, currently scheduled for July 24.
Rimasauskas also agreed to forfeit about $49.7 million he personally obtained from the scheme, according to a court filing.
Paul Petrus, a lawyer for Rimasauskas, said the plea spoke for itself and declined to comment further.
Rimasauskas, originally from the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, was extradited to the United States from Lithuania in August 2017.
U.S. prosecutors accused Rimasauskas and unnamed co-conspirators of bilking Google and Facebook out of more than $100 million by posing as an Asian hardware vendor and claiming that the companies owed the vendor money.
The prosecutors did not name the companies, but Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc confirmed after Rimasauskas' arrest that it was the Asian vendor, and a Lithuanian court order in 2017 identified Google and Facebook as the victims.
The scheme defrauded Google out of $23 million and Facebook out of $99 million, according to that order. Prosecutors said Rimasauskas contributed to the scheme by setting up a fake company and a bank account in Latvia.
The scheme is an example of a growing type of fraud called "business email compromise," in which fraudsters ask for money using emails targeted at companies that work with foreign suppliers or regularly make wire transfers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said in February 2017 that losses from such scams since the agency began tracking them in 2013 totalled more than $3 billion.
(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.