The age-old rule of not hiding your cash under your mattress was lost on a Brazilian man who federal authorities say hid $20 million in a mattress box spring.
The suspect, 28-year-old Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, was charged in connection with the massive TelexFree pyramid scheme after authorities found the cash inside a box spring at a Westborough, Massachusetts apartment in early January.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said in a press release that Rocha flew from Brazil to the U.S. to meet with a cooperating witness at a restaurant in Hudson Massachusetts. The witness reportedly gave Rocha a suitcase filled $2.2 million.
After the restaurant meeting, federal agents followed him to an apartment complex in Westborough, Massachusetts. That night, the agents searched the apartment, seizing more than $20 million in cash.
Rocha was charged with one count of conspiring to commit money laundering.
Authorities say Rocha was acting on behalf of Carlos Wanzeler, who is one of the founders of the internet phone service company, TelexFree. CNN reports that TelexFree defrauded people out of approximately $1 billion.
Wanzeler allegedly fled to his native Brazil just months before he and TelexFree co-founder James Merill were indicted in July 2014 for the pyramid scheme.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said Rocha was in Massachusettes to help transfer millions of hidden TelexFree money still in the Boston area.
If convicted, Rocha could face up to 20 years in prison.
WATCH | For more news you need, check out our 60 Second Circa.