Oroville Man Pleads Guilty To Massive Ponzi Scheme

The alleged partner of a Palo Cedro man accused in a massive ponzi scheme has pleaded guilty to federal charges. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 44-year-old Matthew Piercey of Palo Cedro and 67-year-old Kenneth Winton of Oroville ripped off investors for $35 Million through a company called “Family Wealth Legacy” and another called “Zolla”. Piercey claimed to be building an “Upvestor Fund”, an algorithmic trading fund with a history of success. Prosecutors say that fund did not exist and the five year scheme all fell apart in August of this year. He also allegedly tried to dissuade multiple witnesses from speaking to a federal grand jury. On November 16th F.B.I. Agents went to arrest Piercey and he reportedly fled in his pickup truck to Lake Shasta, where he spent about 30 minutes underwater with a Yamaha submersible device before resurfacing and being taken into custody. Prosecutors say Winton had been an investor in the scheme and eventually was recruited by Piercey into a management role. Winton entered a guilty plea Thursday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. His sentencing is set for February. Both men face many years in federal prison and enormous fines.