Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, a Brazilian who was arrested by the U.S. authorities for hiding 17 million dollars under his mattress has confessed to the crime.
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The money was discovered under a mattress at Westborough, Massachusetts, United States.
According to prosecutors, Rochas was contracted to help move the money out of the country by a co-founder of TelexFree Inc, who run away from the US.
Rochas confessed to the crimes of conspiracy and money laundering charged against him before a federal court in Boston.
The accused is to be sentenced on Dec. 7, while the punishment for each of the charges is about 20 years imprisonment.
Although, prosecutors have concluded to propose a 40-month jail term depending on Rocha’s cooperation.
The suit which is over 27 years old came into being as a result of an investigation of TelexFree, a Massachusetts-based company that sold voice-over-internet telephone service which was established by James Merrill, a U.S. citizen, and Carlos Wanzeler, a Brazilian.
Prosecutors disclosed that TelexFree was a pyramid scheme, which was extorting money from a lot of people who agreed to pay for the contract of becoming “promoters” and display adverts online for the company.
The company crashed in 2014, causing about 1.89 million people across the world to incur loss amounting to over $3 billion.
James Merrill was caught in 2014and sentenced to six years imprisonment after confessing to the crimes of conspiracy and fraud .
Wanzeler, a co-founder of the company took refuge in Brazil in 2014 where he could not be extradited after hidding 17 million dollars in an apartment in the US.
In 2015, Leonardo Casula Francisco, Wanzeler’s nephew, instructed someone to help move the money gotten from the scheme that Wanzeler had concealed in the United States.
The person contracted to help with the movement of the money later became a cooperating witness for the prosecutors.
According to the prosecutors, it was decided by the duo that someone would be sent to the United States to give the cash to the witness, who would transfer it to accounts in Hong Kong where it would be further moved to another account in Brazil.
Casula instructed Rocha to go and give money to the witness in the US, in December after they met on Jan. 4 at a car park.
Rocha gave the witness $2.2 million parked in a briefcase, after which federal authorities trailed Rocha to a Westborough, Massachusetts, apartment complex where the rest of the money was concealed under a mattress.