Crypto Ponzi scheme fraudster tries to escape the law on a sea scooter
By Bob Garcia
The FBI had to get its feet wet to capture the runaway crypto scammer
This will go down as one of the most ill-fated escapes by a criminal. A California resident accused of running a cryptocurrency-related Ponzi scheme was close to being cornered by the FBI when he made his attempted getaway. However, his choice of escape vehicles leaves something to be desired, as he thought he would be able to elude authorities by trying to use a sea scooter. The top speed for the aquatic devices is only 4mph.
Matthew Piercy is allegedly behind two firms that attracted investors to crypto mining and investment schemes. The money would be used to invest in mining firms, life insurance and other investment vehicles, and he is said to have been able to take in $35 million from unsuspecting victims. The FBI got wind of his activity, though, and moved in to take him into custody.
This is when things got interesting. He headed out in his truck, leaving his Redding, CA, home and taking law enforcement agents on an hour-long trip. He is said to have gone off-road twice before ultimately giving up his truck near Lake Shasta. It was there that he decided to try his luck with the sea scooter but, at 4mph, it’s not easy to make a quick escape.
Piercy was ultimately caught – even if it took 25 minutes on the lake – and arrested. He now faces charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, witness-tampering and, possibly, commandeering a slow-moving vehicle in an attempted escape. The last part is made up, but it should be included on his permanent record for a good laugh.