A Georgia banker, who is accused of stealing $21 million before faking his own suicide and disappearing for 18 months, has resurfaced and is awaiting trial in Federal District Court in Brunswick, Ga.
Aubrey Lee Price, 47, originally from Lyons, Ga., is charged with wire fraud for defrauding Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey, Ga. He disappeared in June 2012 just before being indicted. He was arrested in Brunswick, Ga., on New Year’s Eve by Glynn County Sheriff’s officers who stopped his car because the tinted windows were too dark, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
According to the indictment, in 2010 an investment group controlled by Price invested approximately $10 million in the failing Montgomery Bank & Trust. Price was made a director and put in charge of investing the bank’s capital.
Over the next 18 months, Price is charged with stealing more than $21 million from the bank. To cover up the fraud, authorities say, he created bogus account statements that said the bank’s capital was safely held in an account at a financial services firm. He now says he lost the money on bad investments and a public defender represented him in court after his arrest.
After the scheme went sour, Price was seen boarding a ferry in Key West, Fla., bound for Fort Meyers. He left a letter saying he had lost a large amount of money and he could not go on with life, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia says.
The FBI had been searching for Price since his disappearance. Price entered a plea of not guilty and is being held in custody.
Price has ties to Georgia and Florida and the FBI suspected he might travel to Venezuela and Guatemala.