(BOSTON) — A new image released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Monday shows $20 million in cash that authorities found stashed in a box spring in a Massachusetts apartment.
— U.S. Attorney MA (@DMAnews1) January 23, 2017
The money is believed to be linked to a $1 billion pyramid scheme involving TelexFree, a Massachusetts-headquartered company that claimed to provide Internet phone services.
Authorities allege that it was actually a pyramid scheme that operated between January 2012 and March 2014.
“TelexFree purported to aggressively market its VOIP service by recruiting thousands of ‘promoters’ to post ads for the product on the Internet,” the Department of Justice said in a statement on its website.
The promoters were each required to “buy in” to the company at a set price, after which they were to be compensated by TelexFree, “under a complex compensation structure, on a weekly basis so long as they posted ads for TelexFree’s VOIP service on the Internet,” according to the DOJ.
The windfall was discovered earlier this month when police raided the apartment of Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, in Westborough, Mass. Rocha was arrested and charged with one count of conspiring to commit money laundering.
TelexFree reported sales of $1.02 billion in 2013, but roughly all of that revenue came from people who bought into the companies scheme, authorities said.
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