20 Nov 2020
The pursuit of a man suspected of masterminding a multimillion-dollar pyramid scheme fraud came to an abrupt and unusual halt on the shores of an icy lake in northern California.
Reaching the water’s edge before the FBI agents who were chasing him, Matthew Piercey hauled what prosecutors later called “an underwater submersible device” out of his vehicle’s boot and dived into Lake Shasta.
His plan lacked one critical element: an escape route. The agents waited patiently on shore, watching the bubbles that indicated the location of the businessman. Then when their cold and bedraggled quarry emerged from California’s largest reservoir 25 minutes later, they arrested him.
Mr Piercey, 44, has been detained on 31 charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and witness tampering, according to court documents.
Prosecutors have accused him of stealing millions through his investment companies Family Wealth Legacy and Zolla.
By Ben Hoyle, The Times, 19 November 2020
Read more at The Times
Photo: Yamaha 350LI underwater submersible device, U.S. Department of Justice
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