An alleged U.S. fraudster almost pulled off a James Bond-style escape from the FBI by diving into a California lake on an underwater scooter.
Federal prosecutors said Matthew Piercey, who is wanted for his involvement in a suspected $35 million Ponzi scheme, tried to flee agents. The 44-year old suspect briefly evaded arrest, authorities said.
Piercey spent around 25 minutes underwater using a Yamaha submersible vehicle, CBS News reports. He was eventually arrested after resurfacing.
Piercey has been indicted on 31 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, mail fraud and witness tampering, according to court documents.
Agents tracked his bubbles for around 25 minutes before he gave up. He was cleared of hypothermia and his wife brought him a set of dry clothes.
The sea scooter Piercey used - also known as diver propulsion vehicle - can travel underwater at speeds of about 4 miles per hour. The Yamaha underwater vehicle can cruise at depths of 100 feet.
DPVs were used for an underwater action scene in the 1965 James Bond movie "Thunderball" and have been used by real-life militaries.
They retail for around $1,200, authorities said.
Piercey and his business partner, Kenneth Winton were indicted by a grand jury last week. They allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme from 2015 that generated $35 million for companies Zolla and Family Wealth Legacy.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hales, Piercey's attempt to flee was "a clear demonstration of the serious flight risk that he poses," NBC News quoted him as saying.