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Lithuanian in talks to plead guilty in US$10m cybertheft of Google and Facebook

[MANHATTAN] A Lithuanian alleged to have tricked Facebook and Alphabet's Google into sending him more than US$100 million is in talks to plead guilty to related charges, US prosecutors said in a court filing.

Evaldas Rimasauskas is accused of posing as an Asian computer hardware manufacturer and sending phishing emails to employees with phony invoices, according to an indictment accusing him of wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering. He was arrested in March and extradited to New York in August.

In a Jan 24 letter to US District Judge George Daniels, prosecutors asked to postpone a status conference scheduled for Wednesday and to replace it with a change-of-plea hearing while the parties finalise talks. Judge Daniels on Monday rescheduled the conference for Feb 6.

Paul D Petrus Jr, an attorney representing Rimasauskas, didn't immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

Prosecutors said Rimasauskas set up bank accounts in Latvia and Cyprus that received payments from Google and Facebook and then forwarded that money to other accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary and Hong Kong.