Authorities had wiretapped phone of man suspected by US of large-scale fraud

Cyber attack
Reuters / Scanpix

The suspect and his lawyer think that the wiretapping was sanctioned by a Vilnius court and turned to another court of the Lithuanian capital with a suit against it.

Rimašauskas, who is faced with suspicions of fraud of extremely large scale and whom prosecutors want extradited to the US, has contested the court conclusion to sanction the wiretapping in the case under investigation in Lithuania. The other probe is also linked with fraud.

The wiretapping was sanctioned by a Vilnius court in February. The plea filed by Rimašauskas’ lawyers into what they believe was unlawful wiretapping was heard by a panel of three judges on Thursday.

Judge Laureta Ulbienė told BNS that the conclusion refers to the circumstance about the investigation conducted in the US into Rimašauskas’ actions. The finding is expected on Monday.

Rimašauskas’ lawyer Linas Rimašauskas told BNS that his client’s conversations were wiretapped in an investigation opened in Lithuania. He believes the investigation was opened in 2015, stressing that his client has no status in the case, which makes the wiretapping unlawful.

The lawyer’s guess is that the wiretapping was a result of a request from the United States.

The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office recently asked a court to extradite Rimašauskas, a Lithuanian national suspected of defrauding US-based Internet giants Facebook and Google of 100 million US dollars, to the United States.

The Vilnius Regional Court has scheduled a hearing on the extradition request for Friday.

The 48-year-old suspect was detained on March 16. A Vilnius court then issued a one-month arrest warrant, which was on April 13 extended for another month.

US law-enforcement officials have reportedly brought fraud, money laundering and identity theft charges against the Lithuanian citizen.

The US Department of Justice has said in a press release that Rimašauskas orchestrated the fraudulent scheme between 2013 and 2015.

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