$20 million cash found stashed in box spring, authorities say

Image released by U.S. attorney’s office shows what it says is $20 million cash found hidden in a box spring in a Westborough, Mass. apartment; the cash allegedly came from a pyramid scheme

CBS Boston/U.S. attorney's office

BOSTON -- A photo released by the U.S. attorney’s office shows $20 million authorities say they found hidden in a box spring in a Westborough, Mass. apartment, CBS Boston reports.

The cash was inside a box spring and, police say, is connected to a pyramid scheme involving TelexFree, a Marlborough, Mass.-based company that purported to sell VOIP telephone service.

The cash was found earlier this month by investigators who’d tailed a Brazilian man from New York. That man, Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, was charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.

TelexFree had few customers and made most of its revenue from people buying into the company with a promise of payouts for posting online ads for it, prosecutors have said. They were paid with money from new recruits, often friends and family of earlier investors.

Although initially aimed at Brazilian immigrants to Massachusetts, authorities allege almost 1 million people worldwide were swindled out of nearly $1.8 billion.