USA: Millions of fraudsters Matthew Piercey flees FBI with underwater scooter – News abroad

Scenes like from a James Bond film: a fraudster escapes after a failed arrest, first in a truck, then he dives into a reservoir with an underwater scooter. FBI agents are looking for the man with boats and helicopters. After 25 minutes he emerges from the cold water, half frozen – and is arrested.

This wild chase happened on Monday in Shasta Lake, California. Matthew Piercey, 44, was on the FBI’s “Wanted” list. He is said to have cheated investors with a kind of pyramid scheme by a total of around 35 million US dollars.

Piercey (left) worked with his father in Chicago before moving to California in 2016Foto: Family Wealth Legacy/PR

Piercey and his business partner were investigated for more than a year after alleged victims reported to authorities, according to CBS Sacramento. He was charged on November 12th.

The allegations: fraud in transfers, postal fraud, money laundering and influencing witnesses.

When FBI agents tried to arrest the 44-year-old on Monday, he first fled with a truck before he parked the vehicle on the bank and disappeared into the reservoir. The investigators could “only see bubbles”, according to the court documents – a trace of Piercey.


Lake Shasta, California's largest reservoir

Lake Shasta, California’s largest reservoirFoto: George Rose/Getty Images

Josh Kons, attorney representing some of the alleged victims: “You never know what’s going on in the mind of someone who is being pursued by the FBI. We kept investigating and today he suddenly tries to escape with a diving device in a lake. “


This is what the Yamaha 350Li looks like in the Eisatz
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This is what the underwater scooter looks like in the EisatzFoto: YAHAMA / PR

The fact that even in California the water temperatures in November can be uncomfortable, the fraudster had probably not considered in the rush. The cold eventually drove Piercey to the surface and into the hands of the FBI. Piercey went to jail with dry clothes his wife brought him.

The underwater scooter is a $ 1200 Yamaha 350Li. The motorized part with underwater propulsion can travel to a depth of 30 meters. The authorities did not reveal which device Piercey could use to breathe underwater.

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