Wife of Fugitive TelexFree Owner Arrested

In this Tuesday, April 15, 2014 photo, Homeland Security Investigators raid telecommunications and marketing firm TelexFree in Marlborough.
Homeland Security Investigators raided TelexFree’s offices last month. –Allan Jung/AP Photo/MetroWest Daily News

The wife of Carlos Wanzeler, the TelexFree co-owner currently considered a fugitive, was arrested Wednesday night at JFK International Airport as she tried to leave the country, the Boston Globe reports.

Katia Wanzeler was arrested on a material witness warrant, said the US Attorney's spokeswoman, Christina Sterling.

Marlborough-based TelexFree is alleged to have run a $1 billion global pyramid scheme.

Last week, authorities said they think Carlos Wanzeler has fled to Brazil. Co-owner James Merrill was arrested Friday in Worcester by federal authorities.

Prior to his wife’s arrest, the Globe reported that it may be difficult to bring Wanzeler back north. Wanzeler has dual citizenship in Brazil and the United States.

Federal authorities may be hard-pressed to arrest TelexFree Inc. co-owner Carlos Wanzeler, who apparently fled to Brazil, a country that is not compelled to turn over its citizens to the United States when they are accused of crimes here.

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