Valdosta Daily Times

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December 31, 2013

Missing investment banker arrested

BRUNSWICK — An investment banker, with Lowndes County ties who has been wanted by federal authorities since 2012 regarding $40 million of missing money, was identified and arrested this morning by the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office.

An admission and fingerprints have confirmed that the man taken into custody this morning is Aubrey Lee Price, who vanished in June 2012 after boarding a ferry in Key West, Fla., said Glynn County Sheriff Neal Jump.

Price and his family had lived in the Stone Creek area of Lowndes County at the time of his disappearance.

At approximately 11 a.m. today, a Glynn County sheriff’s deputy stopped a 2001 Dodge Ram for a window-tint violation, Jump said. The driver identified himself as John Doe, which raised the deputy’s interest.

The driver was taken into custody; he reportedly carried false IDs. Glynn County authorities ran his fingerprints, which matched Price’s, and the driver admitted he was Price.

“He told us, ‘I’m going to make you famous,’” Jump said.

Price was still being held in the Glynn County Jail this afternoon awaiting the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jump said. 

In July 2012, a federal grand jury indicted Price on a charge of bank fraud, according to court documents. Prosecutors say his actions led to the depletion of the cash assets and reserves of Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey.

Price also faces federal charges in New York, where an estimated $17 million was embezzled, according to past reports and court documents.

An estimated $17 million of the missing $40 million was from Montgomery Bank & Trust — a small bank in Ailey about 170 miles southeast of Atlanta — where Price acted as bank director, according to the bank’s website in 2012. That bank was shut down in 2012.

In late 2010, some of Price’s investors put at least $10 million into MB&T, which was listed in December 2010 as the state’s most troubled institution, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. After locals contributed an additional $4 million, the investment was hailed as a success and was even highlighted in a January 2011 front page-article in the AJC, according to past reports.

The SEC soon claimed the investment was worthless as the assets had been depleted and most of its reserves were lost in trading, according to the Associated Press in 2012. In addition to wire fraud, the SEC alleges that losses between $20 million and $23 million were hidden from clients during a two-year period.

In Valdosta, according to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority online deed records, Price purchased a home in Lowndes County’s Stone Creek for $242,000 on May 24, 2012. His family reportedly has earlier Valdosta ties.

Price became a director of the Georgia bank after a company he controlled bought a controlling portion of the bank’s stock in 2010.

Price disappeared in mid-June. A rambling confession that investigators believe he wrote indicated that he planned to kill himself.

His family told authorities then they believed he was dead. Investigators offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Price had ties to Florida and Georgia and may travel to Venezuela and Guatemala, according to the FBI. He was last seen aboard a ferry sailing from Key West, Fla., to Fort Myers, according to various media reports.

 

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