TelexFree, Inc. Case

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations are seeking customer assistance relating to TelexFree, Inc. If you are a customer of TelexFree and you believe you have been defrauded, you are encouraged to complete the secure questionnaire below, which will be reviewed and responded to appropriately.

On May 9, 2014, James M. Merrill and Carlos N. Wanzeler, principals of TelexFree, Inc. and related entities, were charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The following is an excerpt from the press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts:

According to the complaint affidavit, TelexFree, Inc., and TelexFree LLC (collectively, TelexFree) provided Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services, for which customers can sign up via a website maintained by TelexFree. It is alleged that TelexFree was actually a pyramid scheme, and that between January 2012 and March 2014, TelexFree purported to aggressively market its VoIP service by recruiting thousands of “promoters” to post ads for the product on the Internet. Each promoter was required to “buy in” to TelexFree at a certain price, after which they were 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.

Seal of the Office for Victim Assistance Program with motto Fairness, Respect, Privacy.

It is alleged that the ad-posting requirements were a meaningless exercise, in which promoters cut and pasted ads into various classified ad sites provided by TelexFree which were already saturated with ads posted by earlier participants. According to the affidavit, TelexFree derived only a fraction of its revenue from sales of VOIP service—less than 1 percent of TelexFree’s hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over the last two years. The overwhelming majority of its revenue—the other roughly 99 percent—came from new people buying into the scheme. TelexFree was allegedly only able to pay the returns it had promised to its existing promoters by bringing in money from newly recruited promoters. (View full press release)

The details contained in the complaint affidavit are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Further questions or concerns regarding the allegations detailed in the complaint should be directed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, via e-mail: .

The large number of possible victims necessitates that we ask for your assistance by completing the secure questionnaire online. Your responses are voluntary, but would be useful in the federal investigation and to identify you as a victim.

Please complete the questionnaire here:

Due to the large number of potential victims, it would be impractical for us to speak with each one of you individually. Based on the responses provided, you may be contacted by a special agent and asked to provide additional information. Regardless, your name has been added to our list of potential victims in the captioned matter, and our victim notification system will keep you informed of potential progress in any federal investigation that may develop as deemed appropriate, as well as provide you with updated information regarding your rights in this matter.