A Money Launderer Was Caught Packing An Impressive $20 Million Into Just One Mattress

The packing job done to hold all that cash is a thing of beauty

People are notoriously bad at wrapping their heads around large numbers. Our brains just don’t seem to grasp the enormity of how much a million of something is, let alone twenty million.

To give you a weird comparison, if every person in New York state was a one-dollar bill, the state’s population would be worth $20 million.

Now that you’re (maybe) a little clearer on the concept here, we can start discussing the amazing feat that a money launderer pulled off by managing to hide, nicely and neatly, $20 million in cash inside just one mattress.


The enormous haul was discovered in an apartment in Westboro, Massachusetts during a raid on 28-year-old Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, who’s now charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The stacks of cash were proceeds from a pyramid scheme predicated on the subscription to phone service provided by company TelexFree. In reality, very few subscriptions were sold and early “investors” were simply paid off with money from newer investors. The scam grew from targeting mostly Brazilian immigrants in the Boston area to a global enterprise, bilking an estimated one million people to the tune of $1.8 billion.

This bust won’t make all the scam victims whole, but it’s a pretty big step in the right direction. I hope the police also checked the guy’s couch while they were over there. This guy seems to really invest a lot in his furniture.

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