Man wanted in $35M Ponzi scheme tries to flee FBI on underwater sea scooter

He’s more “swim risk” than flight risk.

A California man wanted in an alleged $35 million Ponzi scheme tried to flee FBI agents — by hopping on an underwater “sea scooter” and taking it into a frigid lake, authorities said.

First, 44-year-old Matthew Piercey jumped into a pickup truck when agents went to arrest him on Monday, leading them on a wild chase before eventually abandoning the vehicle on the shores of Lake Shasta, according to federal prosecutors in California.

He then grabbed a Yamaha sea scooter — a motorized submersible device that pulls users at about 4 mph — and took it into the cold waters, staying there for about 25 minutes, the Sacramento Bee reported.

“Piercey spent some time out of sight underwater where law enforcement could only see bubbles,” prosecutors wrote in court documents, describing him as a flight risk.

He was taken away in handcuffs after resurfacing.

Piercey was indicted by a grand jury last week for allegedly bilking his investors into giving $35 million to his companies Family Wealth Legacy and Zolla.

Some of his alleged victims were fellow parishioners of the Bethel megachurch in Redding, a source told the Bee.

His arraignment on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and witness tampering was scheduled for Tuesday. If convicted, Piercey faces 20 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Share this article:

Source: Read Full Article