Lithuanian court upholds extradition of man to U.S. in $100 million fraud case

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VILNIUS (Reuters) – Lithuania’s top appeals court on Friday upheld a decision to extradite to the United States a Lithuanian man accused of defrauding Facebook and Google out of more than $100 million.

According to a U.S. indictment made public in March, Evaldas Rimasauskas is charged with wire fraud and money laundering, which each carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

A further charge of identify theft carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years. The alleged crimes took place in 2013-2015.

Rimasauskas will be handed over to the United States within 10 days, the Lithuanian general prosecutors office told Reuters. He had appealed against an extradition ruling made in July.

Evaldas Rimasauskas ahead of a verdict announcement in his extradition case at a court in Vilnius, Lithuania July 17, 2017.Andrius Sytas

Rimasauskas allegedly swindled $23 million from Google and $99 million from Facebook, the Lithuanian court said in a statement.

The court said Rimasauskas and his accomplices were alleged to have posed as Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta Computer Inc., an established supplier for Google and Facebook. They then allegedly used email to convince both U.S. companies to transfer money owed to the manufacturer to accounts controlled by a Latvian company with the same name, the court said.

Google then transferred money to a Latvian bank account controlled by the fraudulent Latvian company, and Facebook to a similar account at a bank in Cyprus, the court said.

Quanta told Reuters it had been “impersonated” as part of the fraud, but did not suffer financial harm from the incident.

Rimasauskas has been in custody since March at the request of U.S. prosecutors.

Reporting by Andrius Sytas; Editing by Catherine Evans