They look very legitimate but are actual from other companies just sending you a bill for something that you don't owe.
I assume many smaller companies with untrained staff pay these items without double checking and that is why these things still come int he mail.
I find the "trademark renewal" ones especially devious as they come from a company called something like "US Trademark Renewal services" and the invoices look like they come from a federal agency.
Are these companies despicable? Yes. Are they misleading people? I'd say so. Can you make a fraud charge stick? Probably not. In cases I've seen, if you read the entire document, including fine print, and you think logically about the content, you can deduce that the companies sending these notices/invoices/wtfe are just hoping the target isn't savvy enough to figure things out.
Similar prohibitions exist in America. They’re typically handled at the state level, however, since incorporation is done by states.
(Some federal prohibitions exist, however. Like on calling oneself a “national bank.”)
At that point, set up in Latvia. Generally speaking, companies incorporated outside Delaware or the state they’re physically in get extra scrutiny. Also, if your only check before issuing payment is looking at the entity’s name, that’s more the problem than anything else.
they will probably solve this by curating a list of "good words to register your company" which then can be claimed as a tax exemption that requires two new forms. which adds $25 to services bill at H&Rblock. like God intended.
I wouldn't rely on weasel-wording to keep you out of jail. Even if those people aren't technically lying, it's obvious that they attempt to mislead people into paying for services they have never ordered.
"If your domain lapses and no one can get to your site, you could lose business or even lose the domain entirely. Renew your domain today for only $99.95!"
"If you don't submit your business to Google and drop off of search results, your business could suffer. Send us $100 and we'll handle submitting your site to Google for you."
Those statements are not technically wrong; these companies are soliciting to provide a service; obviously techies find the practice abhorrent and misleading, but they live in a muddy grey area where they provide some service and charge money for it.
That was one of many many things that made me leave.
> They look very legitimate...
The ones I've seen do not. And I stopped receiving them altogether a few years after I made my domain name registrations private.
I keep my registrations public, as they should be. But I stopped getting those letters when I changed the phone number to a VOIP service in another country.
Why should they be public?
Some random employee would get a call from someone claiming to be from the copier toner supplier, asking for the name of the person in charge of buying that stuff.
The pretext might be their files got mixed up and they want to straighten it out, or maybe they're a prospective supplier who wants to beat whatever price you're paying now.
Then they make a fake invoice with that name, mail it to the company's accounts payable desk, and hope it gets paid.
When properly followed, the process makes scams harder, not easier. If people don't follow the process...
(You can look at this as the process having one person responsible for each step in the process, with the system recording each step.)
I spent too much time trying to get that 25’ RJ-11 cable to avoid that tripping hazard. Best $2 I ever spent.
In public sector... “telecom expenses must go through telecom”, and they may not be willing to bother with the paperwork.
And god help you if you’re working in some kind of private-public partnership where that $9 expense is -$9 profit.
Sometimes you can get around it if you can find what you need from Staples and order it as an office supply.
Government 'cost plus' contracts are that for example. If you are contracted to build a bridge, the concernment will pay for all the hours your employees worked on it, and all the concrete and steel they bought for it, and some profit percentage.
Whether AP uses that information is a related but distinct matter. The processes are a necessary, but not sufficient, condition.
I just didn't expect such a thing to occur today.
Why not settle for smaller change and call t quits?
I wonder if he was doing this on behalf of someone else? A few million is more than enough to live comfortably for the rest of your life in Lithuania. $122M seems like an addiction or an organized crime ring.
Why would you assume the security around user data and around invoices are at all similar?
Google, compared to everyone else, is probably best positioned to protect it.
Disclaimer: google employee, but opinion above is my own.
Well I'm convinced.
I am not married to my employer. I do not get any compensation in doing so.
He did get arrested after all.
Some of them are pretty good but we're smaller so we're able to see that we're not actually doing business with these companies.
The only thing he said, is that he meet some guy in Russia, who wanted to do some business with him. It seems, that he was just a proxy. He never saw money...
It's a very interesting story to look into because its not so simple how it looks from this post.
What you describe is called "being a cutout", that is a person who is a proxy for the "real" person who committed the crime. If what you say is accurate, that there was a more sophisticated person who did the crime, there is motivation on his part to plead guilty and stop any further investigation with the assurance that the other party will take care of his family while he serves his time. (At least that is how it has worked in the US with organized crime from time to time). If you step back from the deed itself and look at the bigger picture, if they guy has never been charged before he probably gets a fairly light sentence (not Manafort light, but probably not 30 years), he comes out of it with his family taken care of, the real crook has $73M somewhere safe, and this guy probably doesn't have to work any more if he doesn't want to.
International law, in the form of the passive nationality principle, recognizes criminal jurisdiction in the country of which the victims are nationals regardless of whether the criminal has ever set foot there.
...then plead guilty to all counts.
But basically, in US I see, that a lot of people pleads guilty then it is more to the story. We don't know how much he will get for this and what deal he has. We see story, then person pleads to guilty and has to pay hundred million to later see, that they had other deal for him to pay just a few hundred thousands.
Here in LT we had some few series about this man and some possible things how it went. This case wasn't public, but every news site had about 15-20 stories about it in two years time.
Returned assets means returning assets one controls under court supervision. He controlled $50 million that he could move under court supervision. Getting confused about whether it was wired is totally irrelevant.
Better sources than a criminal’s wife would be the unsealed indictement  and official release .
Here in the US if you have that much money you can get away with crimes you did commit.
That said, sure, having $50M to return points to him being complicit -if not the mastermind- on this. Especially since I don't think we're explicitly told he was multimillionaire to begin with, just a businessman, which can even mean a guy that sells lemonade at a street corner (as long as he owns the stand).
But, and this is what I wanted to point out, returning $50M, doesn't make it entirely implausible.
This boils down to the question: can a multimillionaire ever be successfully framed for something?
I say, why not?
(Though this begs the question how come the real con hadn't gotten the money by then, perhaps they did it piecemeal e.g. to not draw attention, which might explain why only $50M were left).
Certainly wouldn't turn over $50 million if I were innocent.
We know he plead guilty and was in a position to return $50 million of stolen money. The top comment takes, on one hand, a mountain of criminal evidence, and weighs it against, on the other hand, things his wife said.
stealing is bad and illegal.
But if you're going to do it, do it this way! A++