Federal agents seize $20M hidden in a box spring in Massachusetts

  • Fox13Memphis.com

6:22 p.m Monday, Jan. 23, 2017
National/World News

United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts via Twitter

BOSTON Federal agents seized nearly $20 million in cash hidden in a box spring in a Westborough, Massachusetts, apartment.

The money was seized this month and a Brazilian man was arrested in connection with conspiring to launder proceeds of a massive TelexFree pyramid scheme.

The U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts said agents searched TelexFree, Inc. headquarters in April 2014 in Malborough, Massachusetts. Later that same day, one of the company's founders, Carlos Wanzeler, allegedly fled to Brazil.

Wanzeler and his co-founder, James Merrill, were indicted in July 2014. They pleaded guilty to running the pyramid scheme in October 2016 and are awaiting sentencing.

Agents said that millions were still hidden in the Boston area. The U.S attorney for the District of Massachusetts posted a photo on Twitter of about $20 million in cash found hidden in a box spring.


U.S. Attorney MA

Photo of $20M seized in box spring following arrest of Brazilian national in scheme to launder proceeds of TelexFree http://go.usa.gov/x9bs5
3:36 PM - 23 Jan 2017

They said an associate, 28-year-old Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, was working to launder cash through Hong Kong and transfer it to Brazilian accounts. They claim Rocha was a carrier for Wanzeler's nephew.

Agents followed Rocha to an apartment complex in Westborough and arrested him. He may face a maximum 20 years in prison, three years supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, the district said.