A year after federal agents raided the Marlborough office of TelexFree Inc., federal prosecutors are still gathering massive batches of e-mails and other evidence in the alleged $1 billion fraud.
According to a recent status update filed in federal court in Worcester, US prosecutors have met with Brazilian authorities investigating the case.
“The Brazilian authorities have produced a large amount of data and will be producing additional materials in the coming weeks,” most of it as a result of search warrants executed in Brazil, according to the April 10 court filing.
TelexFree presented itself as a telecommunications company that sold cheap long-distance phone service to consumers. But prosecutors as well as civil regulators have alleged that the business was an illegal pyramid scheme, luring 1.9 million participants around the world.
The company allegedly attracted participants by promising large returns for investments in increments of about $1,400, in exchange for promoting the company among their friends and family.
TelexFree was shut down in Brazil in June 2013, but it thrived here in suburban Boston until April 2014, prosecutors alleged. Co-owners James Merrill and Carlos Wanzeler face criminal fraud charges and up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Merrill is at his home in Ashland awaiting trial, while Wanzeler, formerly of Northborough, fled to his native home in Brazil last April. Both men have denied wrongdoing.
The US criminal proceedings have been repeatedly delayed due to the voluminous evidence gathering in what court officials call a “complex case” in the filings.
Among other things, the government has produced 45 gigabytes of TelexFree YouTube videos, back-up data, and Merrill’s personal e-mails. The Brazilian prosecutors are expected to deliver 100 gigabytes of information.
US officials also have been waiting for an English translation of a forensic report by Ernst & Young commissioned by the Brazilian government on whether TelexFree was a pyramid scheme.
The next tentative court date in Worcester is June 12.