A California man accused of financial crimes allegedly attempted to flee from the FBI by using a “sea scooter” to hide from agents underwater Monday morning, the BBC reports.
Reports indicate that Piercey reportedly fled from agents in a pickup truck before he was allegedly seen jumping into a lake near Redding with the “sea scooter,” according to BBC. Matthew Piercey is accused of leading a $35 million Ponzi scheme at his local California church.
Ponzi scheme suspect tries to escape FBI using underwater ‘sea scooter’ https://t.co/ofCou9CAIl
— The Independent (@Independent) November 17, 2020
The “sea scooter” is a diver propulsion vehicle that can pull divers wearing scuba gear. The device has been used by militaries around the world and has been used in movies, including the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball. (RELATED: Live Out Aquatic Adventures With This Underwater Scooter)
“And we kept investigating, and all of a sudden today, here he is trying to escape into a lake, using a submersible device,” said Josh Kons, an attorney for victims of Piercey’s alleged fraudulent behavior, according to the BBC.
Piercey and his business partner Kenneth Winton have been accused of using funds invested in their companies to pay for personal expenses, according to the BBC. Piercey is facing 20 years in prison for charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and witness tampering.