Mattel fought elusive cyber-thieves to get $3M out of China

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WENZHOU, China (AP) — The email looked like a routine request by Mattel Inc.'s chief executive for a new vendor payment to China. It was actually a $3 million scam.

The toy company realized it had made a mistake hours after wiring over the money, but they were told by authorities that it was too late. The money was already in China.

Mattel's millions were swept up in a tide of dirty money that passes through China and that Western police are only beginning to understand. An Associated Press investigation this week showed that China is emerging as a global hub for money laundering, utilized by criminals around the world.