Bugatti Veyron owner who drove into lagoon admits fraud, faces 20 years in prison
The Texas man who drove his $1 million Bugatti Veyron into a lagoon as a insurance scam five years ago may soon have to pay for his crime in federal prison.
The U.S. attorney in Lufkin, Texas, said Tuesday that Andy House, 39, had pled guilty to one count of wire mail fraud in a federal criminal case filed two weeks ago. House's sentencing has not been set, but the maximum penalty under law is 20 years in prison.
You may recall the story from November 2009, when a passer-by recorded video of the Veyron running into the Gulf Bay near La Marque, Texas. House said at the time he had been distracted by a pelican and his cellphone when the Veyron went for a dip. (Warning: some understandably adult language in the video below):
But House's story quickly started to spring leaks, beginning with the video above showing no birds near the car. Investigators later discovered that shortly after buying the Veyron for $1 million in October 2009, House had insured it for $2.2 million — and that he had left the W-16, quad turbocharged engine running for 15 minutes after submerging the car to ensure its destruction. (You might also notice the distinct lack of brake lights in the video above before the car goes in; the car itself was sold for salvage 16 months later.)
House and his insurer — whom he accused of misleading him in writing the policy on the Veyron — settled their lawsuit last year. House owned a business repairing exotic cars before launching his watery Bugatti adventure, and he as much as anyone should have known it's hard to pull off a scam in a car that you can't help but watch.