There are always those people who think it is better and safer to hide their money somewhere in their home. People bury it in coffee cans, others stuff it in the rafters of their attic. A lot of people find it best to stuff their cash under or even into their mattress, and after years, it can add up. The majority of the world isn’t going to save up enough to hide $20 million in their mattress, and that is what the feds have recently found.
The United States Attorney’s Office scored a major bust recently after taking down a Brazilian man by the name of Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha. According to CNN, Rocha flew from Brazil just a few days ago and made his way to the United States to meet a person who is a cooperating witness in the case of a pyramid scheme.
Upon arriving in the United States, Rocha met up with the witness at a restaurant in Hudson, Massachusetts, for a transaction. It was at this restaurant that the witness allegedly handed over a suitcase filled with $2.2 million in bills to Rocha.
Federal agents tailed Rocha to an apartment complex, where he was approached and arrested. This is when the search of Rocha’s apartment and belongings began, and it led to an amazing find by the feds that they felt needed to be seen by the world.
— U.S. Attorney MA (@DMAnews1) January 23, 2017
Hidden inside the box spring of a mattress was money that totaled up to $20 million. Federal agents weren’t totally sure just yet if the $2.2 million received from the witness was part of the amount hidden in Rocha’s bed.
Fox News reports that the original find of the $20 million happened on January 4, but the feds are just posting it online now. The money was found during a money laundering bust related to TelexFree Inc.’s $3 billion global fraud case and pyramid scheme.
TelexFree Inc. is a Massachusetts-based internet phone service company that worked its way into the billion-dollar pyramid scheme.
Rocha ended up being charged with one count of conspiring to commit money laundering, but he wasn’t the big guy in the case. According to the feds, Rocha, 27, was simply the courier for Carlos Wanzeler, who is one of the founders of TelexFree, and he is facing up to 20 years in prison.
The goal of the company was to get together as much money as they could from TelexFree and hide it in the United States. After they had the amount they wanted, the company was going to launder the money through Hong Kong and have it sent to Brazil.
Wanzeler fled to Brazil back in 2014 and has been on the run ever since. The Boston Globe reports that Rocha was close enough to Wanzeler that he could be “entrusted” with millions of dollars that TelexFree was attempting to secure and launder. The money that Rocha was hiding in the mattress was being picked up by others in the pyramid scheme so that it can be transferred out of the Boston area.
Rocha’s lawyer says that he was merely a “mule” in this whole thing and that he wasn’t aware of the seriousness of the situation. 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.”
Finding $20 million in a mattress box spring is something that is absolutely unheard of and likely not something that anyone ever thought they would do. Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha changed the lives of a lot of people when he became involved in a pyramid scheme with a lot of cash at stake. The feds not only thought it was a great bust, but they felt as if it needed to be shared with the whole world on Twitter.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]