BULLETIN: Federal authorities have arrested a man and have found $20 million allegedly linked to TelexFree in a box spring in an apartment in Westborough, Mass. Agents have seized the cash and charged Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, with conspiring to commit money-laundering.
Rocha may be a Brazilian national with ties to a nephew of TelexFree figure Carlos Wanzeler.
From a statement by the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz (italics added):
The complaint alleges that an intermediary working on Wanzeler’s behalf contacted an associate for help transferring millions of dollars of TelexFree money – still hidden in the greater Boston area – from the United States to Brazil. The associate, who subsequently became a cooperating witness for the government, allegedly arranged with Wanzeler’s nephew in Brazil to launder the cash through Hong Kong, convert it to Brazilian reals, and transfer it to Brazilian accounts.
According to court documents, Rocha, acting as a courier for Wanzeler’s nephew, flew from Brazil to JFK Airport in New York City a few days ago. Yesterday, Rocha met the cooperating witness at a restaurant in Hudson, Mass., and allegedly gave him $2.2 million in a suitcase. After the meeting, agents followed Rocha to an apartment complex in Westborough, Mass., and later arrested him. That night, federal agents searched an apartment at the Westborough complex and seized a massive stockpile of cash hidden in a box spring. The cash appears to total approximately $20 million.