In January 2015 Brazilian authorities filed a criminal case against TelexFree and owners Carlos Wanzeler and Carlos Costa.
The case was filed on the back of an investigation that began in 2013, seeking to establish whether TelexFree’s VOIP offering was illegal.
The case recently went to trial and has been playing out in the Federal Criminal Court of Victoria.
Last Thursday Wanzeler, a wanted fugitive in the US, took to the stand to testify.
During his testimony, Wanzeler told the Brazilian court “We (TelexFree’s founders) just wanted to be a telephone company in Brazil”.
Federal prosecutors have alleged TelexFree’s Brazilian company, Ympactus ‘switched fixed telephone service (STFC) without authorization from the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel)‘.
Wanzeler denies there was anything illegal about TelexFree’s VOIP service.
At the time we started the company, Anatel said there was nothing wrong.
Carlos Costa having previously testified, continues to blame TelexFree in the US for any irregularities with Ympactus’ VOIP offering.
This despite TelexFree and Ympactus being also owned by Wanzeler, Costa and James Merrill.
The hearing that lasted four hours ended without sentence.
The judge gave ten days for the Federal Public Ministry and the defense of the accused to make new steps and final claims.
Presumably a ruling will be made after final claims have been made by both parties.
In addition to telecommunications fraud, Carlos Wanzeler is also being investigated for crimes against the financial system. This includes money laundering, tax evasion, embezzlement and “other offences”.