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Crypto crime: Man stayed underwater for 30 minutes to avoid FBI arrest

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  • The FBI has arrested a Californian man after running underwater for nearly 30 minutes over a crypto crime.
  • He allegedly operated two businesses which he used to bilk millions of dollars from investors in a crypto investment scheme
  • The defendant may face a life sentence if he’s found guilty of the crypto crime.

A 44-year-old Shasta County man has been arrested by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after spending several minutes underwater using a sea scooter in a bid to avoid being arrested. Reports alleged that man named Matthew Piercey engaged in a crypto Ponzi scheme, wherein he bilked unsuspecting investors of $35 million through his businesses. Piercey is likely to a life sentence if found guilty of the crypto crime.

Investors loss $35 million in a crypto crime

The Sacramento Bee, a Californian media outlet, noted that Piercey operates two companies, through which he solicited funds from investors. According to the prosecutors, he mainly targeted wealthy investors in 2015 with the companies’ investment products, which were capped at $50,000 as minimum investments. The companies, which Piercey said didn’t exist, offered digital currency mining schemes and securities investments, among others. 

On Monday, the FBI began seeking to arrest Piercey. He reportedly ran away from his home in Redding, California, using his truck. Piercey drove through the town’s residential areas only to abandoned his truck on the edge of Lake Shasta. Using a sea scooter, he swam under the cold water of California’s largest reservoir for almost half an hour to avoid being detained by the law enforcement officers.

The usual road end

He was arrested after resurfacing, and he is facing due charges for the crypto crime. Among others, the charges accused him of mail and wire fraud and money laundering. The prosecutors informed in the report that Piercey is likely to face a life sentence for the crypto crime if he’s found guilty after trial. 

Ibiam Wayas

Ibiam Wayas

Ibiam is an optimistic crypto journalist. Five years from now, he sees himself establishing a unique crypto media outlet that will breach the gap between the crypto world and the general public. He loves to associate with like-minded individuals and collaborate with them on similar projects. He spends much of his time honing his writing and critical thinking skills.

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