-- 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.
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 a pyramid scheme that operated from January 2012 to March 2014.
"TelexFree purported to aggressively market its VOIP [voice over internet protocol] 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 required to buy into the company at a 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 cash stash was discovered earlier this month when police raided the apartment of Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, in Westborough. He 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 that revenue came from people who bought into the company's scheme, authorities said.