Sentence in BEC Scheme
Luckily, the companies notified the FBI of the email intrusions. Investigators froze some of the funds before Rimasauskas and his associates could move the money. Rimasaukas had created a vast paper trail, including contracts, invoices, and other documents to try to make the transactions look legitimate.
But the FBI worked closely with partner agencies around the world to investigate Rimasaukas’ operation and bring him to the United States for prosecution. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges and was sentenced last December to five years in prison.
“Unfortunately, this is happening to a lot of companies because it’s a crime that can be committed from the other side of the world,” Polonitza said. “They also work very hard to remain anonymous.”
BEC is a growing crime—with a staggering price tag. Between 2013 and 2019, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received complaints of more than $10 billion in losses from the crime.
But there are things you can do to protect yourself and your business. And if you are victimized, it’s critical to notify law enforcement as soon as possible. In some cases, money can be recovered.
“It’s very important to be careful in opening any email attachments,” Polonitza said. “If something is suspicious, alert your company’s security. If you are a victim in a case like this, the sooner we know, the sooner we can help.”
If you or your company is affected by business email compromise, contact law enforcement immediately and file a complaint online with the IC3 at bec.ic3.gov.