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Man Pleads Guilty to Scamming Google, Facebook

Rimasauskas is likely to be sentenced on July 24

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Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

A 50-year-old man from Lithuania has pleaded guilty to scamming Google and Facebook into paying over $120 million for work that never took place.

According to a report in The New York Times on Monday, Evaldas Rimasauskas was involved in running a company that controlled several accounts at banks in Latvia and Cyprus.

Posing as Quanta Computer, a Taiwan-based laptop manufacturer, the phishing scheme netted $23 million from Google in 2013 and $98 million from Facebook in 2015.

“As Evaldas Rimasauskas admitted today, he devised a blatant scheme to fleece US companies out of $100 million, and then siphoned those funds to bank accounts around the globe,” Geoffrey S Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

“Rimasauskas thought he could hide behind a computer screen halfway across the world while he conducted his fraudulent scheme, but as he has learned, the arms of American justice are long, and he now faces significant time in a U.S. prison,” Berman was quoted as saying.

Rimasauskas, who was extradited from Lithuania to the US in 2017, faces up to 30 years in prison.

Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Rimasauskas sent fraudulent phishing emails to agents from Google and Facebook regularly involved in directing business with Quanta.

After the money was wired from Google and Facebook to the bank accounts in Cyprus and Latvia, Rimasauskas “caused the stolen funds to be quickly wired into different bank accounts in various locations throughout the world, including Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary and Hong Kong.”

Facebook said in a statement that the company had “recovered the bulk of the funds shortly after the incident and has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation.

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Google said in a statement to CNET that it had “detected this fraud and promptly alerted the authorities. We recouped the funds and we’re pleased this matter is resolved”.

Rimasauskas is likely to be sentenced on July 24. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s What 1.1 mn Children Learn About Santa Claus From Google Every Year

Additionally, search data reveals that there are on average 186,900 searches for 'How old is Santa' and 182,300 for 'Where is the North Pole' every year

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Santa Claus
FILE - A man dressed as Santa Claus rides his sleigh, pulled by a reindeer, as he prepares for Christmas on the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, northern Finland, Dec. 19, 2007. VOA

A recent report on Internet found that 1.1 million children learn online that Saint Nick is a fictitious character, as the first article in the search says ‘as adults we know Santa Claus is not real.’

When searching ‘Is Santa real’ the first article that is displayed comes from Quartz, which provides parents with advice on how to answer the question, dailymail.co.uk reported on Wednesday.

‘As adults we know Santa Claus isn’t real,’ an introductory sentence of the article reads.

Stephen Kenwright, Technical Search Engine Optimization Director at Rise at Seven, states that ‘Google is ranking this article on Quartz as the no.1 result based on the authority of the domain and reliability of the content.

‘Google’s algorithms choose the answer which best answers the question searched, taking safety into consideration all whilst being factually accurate.’

Santa Claus
Santa Claus dressed for Christmas. Wikimedia Commons

As per report, the results found that voice search technology responses are more creative when it comes to their responses to the query.

Alexa will reply with: ‘All I know is that someone has been eating mince pies and Father Christmas looks like the type.’

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“That’s something I am not allowed to disclause. I mean…disclose,” Siri replied.

Additionally, search data reveals that there are on average 186,900 searches for ‘How old is Santa’ and 182,300 for ‘Where is the North Pole’ every year. (IANS)