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DPV Escape Attempt

Discussion in 'Scuba Industry News' started by oceancurrent, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. oceancurrent

    oceancurrent Instructor, Scuba

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    California Ponzi scheme suspect drives underwater scooter into lake while fleeing FBI agents

    A man suspected of being behind a $35 million Ponzi scheme has been detained after trying to flee the FBI with an underwater vehicle beneath the depths of Lake Shasta, California.

    Matthew Piercy, who is accused of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and witness tampering, attempted to evade capture by hiding beneath the surface of the water in Shasta County, with the help of a Yamaha submarine.

    A helicopter spotted the suspect enter the lake with the underwater device, after he abandoned his truck at the shore of the water.

    According to a Yamaha instructional video, this make of sea scooter can propel the user to 100 feet below the water's surface, and is designed for recreational divers. It allows the user to move through the water quickly so they can conserve more energy, cover greater distances and see more.

    According to court documents, when submerged, Piercey was completely hidden from view. However, the air bubbles coming from his regulator gave his location away. After 25 minutes in the cold water, Piercey emerged at the surface and was taken into custody by law enforcement.

    Piercey is accused of running a fraudulent investment scam through his company Family Wealth Legacy, using investor money to buy properties.

    Attorney Joshua Kons is representing the victims in the case against Piercey: "You know, you never know what is going through someone's mind when they're being pursued by the FBI," he said. "And we kept investigating, and all of a sudden today, here he is trying to escape into a lake, using a submersible device."

    Newsweek has contacted Kons for further comment.

    The FBI has been investigating the case for over a year.

    Piercey is being held at Sacramento County Jail without bail. Lawyers consider the defendant a flight risk.
    Diver propulsion devices are commonly used by militaries around the world to help tow soldiers on missions. A submersible vehicle was also used by James Bond in the movie Thunderball. The Yamaha sea scooters have a battery life of around two hours, but divers could face grave danger if they are submerged underwater for too long.

    Nitrogen is absorbed more easily in deep water. Divers can stay at 100 feet for 20 minutes safely. Taking in too much nitrogen can cause a coma and even death. At deep depths, air consumption is also faster and water temperature is a lot colder.
     
    Brett Hatch, OTF and DivingColeridge like this.
  2. Julius SCHMIDT

    Julius SCHMIDT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Alexandra Headland
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    Should have used an Apollo!
     
  3. Sifossifoco

    Sifossifoco Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Private
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    Should have got a rebreather
     
    Brett Hatch, JBFG, -JD- and 2 others like this.
  4. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

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    If he took that much money he might be able to afford one.
     
  5. Landau

    Landau Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver
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    I hope at least he had a BFK strapped to his calf along with a speargun and bangstick!
     
  6. Bierstadt

    Bierstadt Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Erie, PA
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    You really would think that a man running a $35 million ponzi scheme would have prepared a better escape plan. Or at least bought a rebreather.
     
  7. oceancurrent

    oceancurrent Instructor, Scuba

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    Doesn't sound like he thought it out too well. Princess Latifa did a way better job with much less funding. And she would have made it, if it weren't for the Indian special forces abducting her at the end to appease their Arab overlords. Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 22.17.38.png
    Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 22.19.52.png

    At least, he chose a complicated reservoir for his attempt. Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 21.53.52.png
     

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