Missing Georgia Banker, $17 Million Also Gone, Feds Say

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By Emma Koonse , Christian Post Reporter
July 10, 2012|10:43 am

Federal authorities have opened an investigation on a Georgia banker who disappeared along with millions of dollars from a South Georgia bank last month.

The missing man, Aubrey "Lee" Price, is suspected of embezzling the over $17 million and defrauding more than 100 investors over the course of the past two years, according to CNN.

A criminal complaint from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York charges Price, 46, with wire fraud.

Price became director of Montgomery Bank and Trust in Ailey, Georgia when a company he controlled bought controlling interest in the bank's stock.

It was then in 2012 that he was celebrated by his peers and praised in newspaper articles for saving the troubled bank.

Price was supposed to invest the bank's capital, but instead, prosecutors say he used a New York-based "clearing firm"- a fake company set up for hide money- to mask fraudulent wire transfers and investments.

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The banker disappeared in June after writing acquaintances a 22-page letter, explaining that he had lost a large amount of money through trading activities and that he planned to kill himself, according to the complaint.

He planned on committing suicide on the coast of Florida by jumping off of a ferry boat. The Coast Guard has searched the area, and Price's body has not been recovered, the Feds' complaint indicates.

"Certainly we are receiving any information that arrives locally, but any updates or comments would have to come from the U.S. attorney's office in N.Y., said Stephen Emmett with the FBI Atlanta Field Office speaking to CNN on Sunday.

The FBI are investigating whether the banker is on the run or dead, according to CNN. They believe that Price, who owns property in Venezuela and Guatemala, may be hiding.

FBI Special Agent Michael Howard said in the complaint that investigators believe Price "may own a boat that would be large enough to travel to Venezuela from Florida."

If Price is found guilty of wire fraud, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

 

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