Brazil indicts twenty-two TelexFree scammers
While the sentencing of James Merrill next month will see the criminal side of TelexFree proceedings in the US wind up, down in Brazil they’re just just getting started.
Following a three year investigation by Brazilian Federal Police, last Thursday twenty-two Brazilian TelexFree scammers were indicted.
The accused are a combination of TelexFree management, top affiliates and their respective families.
- Carlos Wanzeler (co-owner of TelexFree in Brazil, currently a fugitive and wanted by US authorities)
- Lyvia Mara Campista Wanzeler (Carlos Wanzeler’s daughter)
- Febe Vanzeler de Almeida e Souza (Carlos Wanzeler’s sister)
- Marisa Machado Wanzeler Salgado (Carlos Wanzeler’s sister)
- Carlos Costa (co-owner of TelexFree in Brazil)
- Jozelia Miriam Sangali (Carlos Costa’s wife)
- Priscila Freitas Costa (Carlos Costa’s daughter)
- Esdras Maria Freitas Costa (Priscila Costa’s mother)
Top TelexFree affiliates indicted include:
- Pele Reis
- Nathana Santos Reis (daughter of Pele Reis)
- Thiessa Santos Reis (daughter of Pele Reis)
- Sanderly Rodrigues (also facing a civil lawsuit in the US filed by the SEC)
- Renato de Carvalho Alves
- Fabio de Arraz Crispim
- Flavio Arraz Crispim
- Rhalff Junio de Almeida Coutinho
- Leonardo Casula Francisco
- Thiago Scardini Marques
- Lelio Celso Ramires Farias
- Sandra Maria Teixeira Araujo
- Bruno Rangel Cardozo
- Vagner Macson Manhaes da Roza
Carlos Wanzeler, his daughter Lyvia and Carlos Costa have also been charged with evasion, the illegal sale of financial assets and selling unregistered securities.
Those indicted stand accused of stealing $1.6 billion USD from eleven million victims. Ponzi ROI liabilities racked up by TelexFree in Brazil top $5 billion USD.
BehindMLM reviewed TelexFree and concluded it was a Ponzi scheme back in July, 2012.
Brazilian authorities shut down TelexFree in 2013.
Under the ruse of selling VOIP services, TelexFree solicited $299 investments on the promise of a $20 a week ROI for 52 weeks.
Brazilian authorities claim not even the owners of TelexFree used the company’s VOIP service, instead they communicated using Skype and WhatsApp.
In response to the indictments Gazeta Online sought comment from Rafael Lima, an attorney to represents Carlos Costa, Carlos Wanzeler and several top Brazilian affiliates.
Lima stated he didn’t have access to the complaint and so wasn’t ready to comment on the case yet.
Sanderly Rodrigues’ Brazilian attorney ‘said he would only talk about the charges in the suit.‘ There’s no further comment, so perhaps he wasn’t ready to discuss the case either.
Brazilian TelexFree affiliates Gazeta Online contacted are still in denial about the scheme.
Citing 20 years of experience in the MLM industry, Fabio Arraz claimed the first company he worked with was Amway. Arraz states he learned everything he knows about MLM from Amyway, and so that means TelexFree can’t be a pyramid scheme.
Looking forward it appears next there will be a trial at some point, which will ultimately decide the fate of those indicted.