A Brazilian national was arrested in Westborough, Massachusetts this week in connection to the TelexFree Ponzi scheme. Federal authorities searched the man's apartment and found $20,000,000 in cash stuffed into his mattress.
Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. He appeared in federal court in Boston on Thursday and did not enter a plea.
TelexFree Inc. was raided in 2014 when feds investigated allegations that the Marlborough-based company was a massive pyramid scheme. Carlos Wanzeler and James Merrill, the company's cofounders, were indicted. Merrill pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.
Wanzeler fled the country and is a fugitive believed to be hiding in Brazil. Authorities were tipped off that arrangements had been made with his nephew to smuggle funds to him via Hong Kong.
Rocha is believed to be the courier being paid by the nephew to transfer in the funds. A witness saw Rocha accept a suitcase containing $2.2 million.
Authorities who arrested Rocha say he 'admitted his role in the operation, telling the agents that he traveled to the United States to facilitate the money transfer on behalf of [Wanzeler’s] nephew and Wanzeler.'
Source: Boston Globe