Don't launder in bed: $20 million found inside a box spring

  • Don't launder in bed: $20 million found inside a box spring

Don't launder in bed: $20 million found inside a box spring

A Brazilian man has been arrested after $20 million (£16m) in cash was found hidden under a mattress.

The money is believed to be linked to a $1 billion pyramid scheme involving TelexFree, a Massachusetts-headquartered company claiming to provide internet phone services. After they had the amount they wanted, the company was going to launder the money through Hong Kong and have it sent to Brazil. It was at this restaurant that the witness allegedly handed over a suitcase filled with $2.2 million in bills to Rocha. Raymond Sayeg says his client really has nothing to do with any of this and that "there is no connection between my client and TelexFree".

That night, federal agents searched an apartment at the Westborough complex and seized a massive stockpile of cash hidden in a box spring.

Federal officials posted a picture of the jaw-dropping scene on Twitter Monday, just weeks after uncovering the cash during a money laundering bust related to TelexFree Inc.'s $3 billion global fraud case.

According to the complaint, Rocha flew from Brazil to NY in early January to act as a courier. The other, Carlos Wanzeler, fled to his native Brazil where he remains, USA prosecutors said. Merrill pleaded guilty to those charges in October 2016 and is awaiting sentencing. He and the company's co-founder were indicted in July 2014 on charges that they operated TelexFree as a massive pyramid scheme.

When he was arrested, he "admitted his role in the operation, telling the agents that he travelled to the United States to facilitate the money transfer on behalf of [Wanzeler's] nephew and Wanzeler", the court filing reportedly said.