IFreeX Site Offline; At Least 2 U.S. Officials Involved In TelexFree Ponzi Prosecution Also Involved In Sann Rodrigues Prosecution On Immigration Charge

From a 2014 YouTube promo for iFreeX. Masking by PP Blog. In 2014, T-Mobile told the PP Blog that it was XX

From a 2014 YouTube promo for iFreeX. Masking by PP Blog. In 2014, T-Mobile told the PP Blog that it was seeking to determine if IFreeX was misusing T-Mobile’s intellectual property.

The website of IFreeX.com is offline. The PP Blog could not immediately determine why. Visitors are seeing a GoDaddy.com page.

A PP Blog reader reported the outage at 6:49 p.m. EDT today. The outage occurred one week to the day after TelexFree and IFreeX figure Sann Rodrigues was arrested at a New Jersey airport on allegations related to visa fraud.

Google cache suggests IFreeX.com was online earlier today.

As part of its reporting, the PP Blog has reviewed certain documents pertaining to the criminal prosecution of TelexFree figures James Merrill and Carlos Wanzeler and documents pertaining to the immigration arrest of Rodrigues. The documents show that the same U.S. federal prosecutor is involved in both the Merrill/Wanzeler case and the immigration case involving Rodrigues.

At the same time, the documents show that the same Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent also is involved in both prosecutions. In addition to filing paperwork against Rodrigues in the immigration case, the agent filed paperwork that led to the 2014 arrest on a TelexFree-related material-witness warrant at JFK Airport in New York of Katia Wanzeler.

Katia is the wife of Carlos Wanzeler, who has been described by the United States as an international fugitive. Katia later was released. HSI, which conducted a TelexFree-related undercover operation beginning in 2013, is an arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Merrill and Carlos Wanzeler were indicted in July 2014 on eight criminal counts of wire fraud and one criminal count of wire-fraud conspiracy. Earlier, in April 2014, Merrill, Carlos Wanzeler, Rodrigues and five others were charged civilly with fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

TelexFree, which hawked a VOIP service, has been described in Bankruptcy Court filings by a court-appointed trustee as a cross-border pyramid scheme that gathered $1.8 billion in about two years.

Separately, BehindMLM.com is reporting in a story dated May 26 that a website known as 2PayNet also is offline. The site may be connected in some way with IFreeX.

In September 2014, Massachusetts Commonwealth Secretary William Galvin described IFreeX as something that appeared “to be nothing more than a rebranded TelexFREE fraud for mobile phones.”

On Oct. 1, 2014, T-Mobile told the PP Blog that it was seeking to determine if IFreeX was misusing T-Mobile’s intellectual property in online promos for IFreeX.

The Department of Homeland Security also is involved in intellectual-property cases. It is unclear if the agency investigated IFreeX for abuse of intellectual property.

Says DHS on its website (italics added):

Intellectual property rights theft is not a victimless crime. It threatens U.S. businesses and robs hard-working Americans of their jobs, which negatively impacts the economy. It can also pose serious health and safety risks to consumers, and oftentimes, it fuels global organized crime.

NOTE: In an affidavit accompanying the immigration complaint against Rodrigues, a footnote leads to a report on Rodrigues by the PP Blog. The story was published on Feb. 6, 2014. It is titled, “MORE FROM MLM LA-LA LAND: Former SEC Defendant In Pyramid-Scheme And Affinity-Fraud Case To Headline TelexFree Event In Spain.”

NOTE: Our thanks to the ASD Updates Blog.

About the Author

Leave a Reply