US: Man gets 33 months for TelexFree money laundering; cash found in mattress in Westboro

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February 8, 2018

Brazilian national was sentenced to almost three years in prison Thursday in U.S. District Court for conspiring to launder about $20 million in proceeds from the TelexFree pyramid scheme eventually found hidden in a mattress in Westboro.

According to the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin sentenced Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, to 33 months in prison and 1 year of supervised release. Mr. Rocha pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiring to commit money laundering and one count of money laundering.

In April 2014, authorities with a search warrant raided the headquarters of TelexFree Inc., a massive pyramid scheme based in Marlboro that reaped billions of dollars from nearly 2 million victims worldwide. Later that same day, Carlos Wanzeler, one of the founders of the company, fled first to Canada and then to Brazil, his native country. In his haste to flee the United States, however, Mr. Wanzeler left millions of dollars hidden in the greater Boston area, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.