Matthew Piercey, the accused operator of two fraudulent companies that solicited tens of million to ostensibly spend money on cryptocurrency mining, life insurance coverage, and different property, has been apprehended by authorities after a failed try to flee FBI brokers utilizing a sea scooter.
In line with Californian media outlet The Sacramento Bee, the 44-year-old Shasta County man evaded brokers looking for to arrest him for an hour. He first fled in his truck from his residence in Redding, California.
After driving by way of the city’s residential areas, the suspect veered off-road twice on his method to the Interstate 5 freeway, earlier than abandoning his automobile on the sting of Lake Shasta.
Piercey then spent roughly 25 minutes within the lake whereas being pulled underwater utilizing a sea scooter — a water-propelled machine that helps divers transfer underwater at speeds of as much as 4 miles per hour. Sadly for him, he was arrested when he emerged from the lake.
Piercey now faces a number of expenses of wire fraud, mail fraud, cash laundering, and witness-tampering in relation to the operations of his funding companies Household Wealth Legacy LLC and Zolla Monetary LLC.
The 2 companies are believed to have acquired $35 million from buyers since 2015 for “funding merchandise” together with cryptocurrency mining schemes, well being care investments, and securities. The companies focused rich buyers, with minimal investments capped at $50,000.
Nevertheless, Piercey allegedly admitted to an affiliate that his firms’ “Upvesting Fund” didn’t exist. Additional, the accused Ponzi operator is believed to have little understanding of cryptocurrencies other than utilizing the time period as a buzz phrase. Joshua Cons, a lawyer representing shoppers of Household Wealth Legacy, said:
“I don’t know they knew what they have been doing with the crypto.”
Piercey is believed to have spent $2.5 million renovating two houses and bank card payments. His accused confederate, Kenneth Winton can also be believed to have spent $1 million of the funds on a houseboat.
Prosecutors allege that $8.8 million of the funds raised have been supplied to earlier buyers to create the phantasm that the funds have been producing earnings, including:
“Of the remaining internet funding of roughly $26 million, few if any liquid property stay to repay buyers.”
The prosecution additionally famous that Piercey might face a life sentence if discovered responsible. The incident underlines how straightforward it’s for even rich buyers to lose cash on non-existent crypto “funding alternatives.”