- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - A Florida man described by authorities as a key promoter of a massive pyramid scheme that cheated nearly 1 million people worldwide out of nearly $1.8 billion has been ordered to pay more than $1.8 million.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday that a federal judge in Boston entered a final judgment against Sanderley Rodrigues de Vasconcelos of Davenport, Florida.

Authorities say he was a promoter of TelexFree, appearing at company-sponsored recruitment events and in company promotional videos.

Prosecutors say Massachusetts-based TelexFree Inc. billed itself as a telecom company, but had few customers and made most of its revenue from people buying into the company with a promise of payouts for posting online ads for it. They were paid with money from new recruits.

TelexFree shut down in 2014.

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