FBI Releases New Video of Georgia Banker Accused of $40 Million Fraud

July 30, 2012 --

FBI UPDATE

Aubrey Lee Price is wanted in connection with a multi-million dollar investment scheme in New York. Between January of 2011 and June of 2012, and while he was a director of a southern Georgia bank, Price is alleged to have caused approximately $21 million of money belonging to a subsidiary of the bank to be sent to certain securities accounts. Price then allegedly falsely represented the account balances in the securities accounts to conceal his theft of bank funds or his trading losses. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Price in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn, New York, on June 28, 2012, after he was charged with wire fraud.

Price disappeared after telling acquaintances that he had lost a large amount of money through trading activities, and that he planned to kill himself. He was last seen boarding a ferry boat in Key West, Florida, bound for Fort Myers, Florida, on June 16, 2012. At the time, he was wearing a white t-shirt, tan shorts, a white baseball cap, and light-colored sneakers.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Aubrey Lee Price.

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[UPDATE] July 19th, 2012 -- 10pm --

When asked about Aubrey Lee Price Valdosta resident Stacey Whatley said "I think he's a vulture. And he's prayed on people that didn't know any better or were trusting and didn't check into his credentials. I mean I just can't imagine."

Aubrey Lee Price is accused of defrauding investors in Florida and Georgia out of $40 million dollars. On June 16th of this year he disappeared in Key West Florida.

The FBI has released new photos from that day of Price at a Key West airport and a ferry terminal where he got on a ferry going to Fort Myers and was never heard from again. He had indicated to family members that he was going to kill himself. But authorities aren't so sure.

The lead detective on the missing persons case for Price, Aaron Pritchett, said " I don't know how much stock you could put into what he eluded to that he was going to do. Based on the financial aspects of all the money that is missing. So I don't know if you could take creedence in what he said he was going to do."

In the past Price did have ties to certain countries in South America.
Pritchett went on to say "well we know Mr. Price has traveled to Venezuela and Guatemala. He traveled to Venezuela earlier this year."

The FBI is offereing a $20 thousand dollar reward for any information leading to Price's arrest.

[UPDATE] July 19, 2012 --

We're getting our first look at surveillance photos of a missing Georgia banker. Those pictures were taken on the day he vanished.

Federal agents believe the photos add to the evidence that Aubrey Lee Price may have faked his death after leading a multi-million dollar investment scheme. The FBI hopes the photos will show everyone what he looked like the day he vanished and maybe lead to his whereabouts now.

FBI agents said the photos show Price as he was making his getaway. He is pictured arriving at the Key West, Florida airport after a flight from Atlanta.He's dressed in shorts and a long-sleeved T-shirt.
The FBI said Price visited a dive shop and post office before going to a ferry terminal.

Before his disappearance he confessed sending fake statements to hide the losses in a "so called" suicide note. According to an FBI affidavit, Price told others he planned to kill himself off the coast of Florida by jumping off of a ferry boat. Witnesses say Price boarded the ferry boat to Ft. Myers, but Coast Guard searches have turned up nothing. Experts question why a man about to commit suicide might need a suitcase. Price also changed ball caps during that afternoon.

The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for Price's whereabouts. He is believed to have owned property in Venezuela, so agents are also working with authorities there.

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[UPDATE] July 12, 2012 --

Aubrey Lee Price was indicted by a federal grand jury in Savannah on Thursday, July 11.

Price is still missing, but investigators are releasing a 22 page confession letter they say he wrote before disappearing.

Aubrey Lee Price is charged with embezzling $17 million dollars from Montgomery Bank and Trust in Ailey, Georgia where he served as a director. The bank was closed on Friday 7/11.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Price wrote a 22-page confession letter and sent it to his colleagues.

He says "I created false statements, covered up my losses and deceived and hurt the very people I was trying to help."

In total Price is accused of defrauding investors out of $40 million dollars before he disappeared in Fort Myers on June 16th. Atlanta resident Wendy Cross, lost $300,000, roughly all of her savings.

Valdosta resident Dominic Leonard said "some people, they work for every penny that's earned. And it just comes down to where she's lost everything. And nobody deserves to go through that kind of thing."

Price's confession letter goes on to say "my depression and discouragement have driven me to deep anxiety, fear and shame. I am emotionally overwhelmed and incapable of continuing in this life."

Price's family has told authorities they believe he's dead. But the FBI isn't so sure. They're offering $20,000 dollars for any information leading to his arrest.

[UPDATE] July 10, 2012

The FBI is offering $20,000 dollars for any information leading to the arrest of Aubrey Lee Price who is wanted for defrauding about 100 investors out of $40 million dollars.

Authorities are now entertaining the possibility that Price may have left the country. Sergeant Aaron Pritchett of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office said "we don't know if he's still in the country. And the FBI office, like I said, is investigating whether he may have left the country as well as we are."

Price had initially indicated to his family that he might harm himself. Recent reports suggest he could be in Venezuela where he may own property.

Valdosta local Joyce Saliba said "I think it was just a ploy to get people to think that he had committed suicide or something. And he's living somewhere on an island enjoying himself, thinking we're all nuts."

6-year old Jordan Hudson said "I would like to see him caught because he stole a lot of money!"

The FBI's reward of $20,000 dollars for Price's capture isn't nearly as much as the $40 million he's accused of taking... but this community hopes it's enough to see him caught.

If you have any information about Aubrey Lee Price contact the following agencies:

THE CONTACT # FOR THE ATLANTA FBI OFFICE IS (404) 679-9000

THE CONTACT # FOR THE LOWNDES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS (229) 671-2985

All callers can remain anonymous.

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[UPDATE] July 9, 2012

FBI Wanted Poster and New Picture Released:

Aubrey Lee Price is wanted in connection with a multi-million dollar investment scheme in New York. Between January of 2011 and June of 2012, and while he was a director of a southern Georgia bank, Price is alleged to have caused approximately $21 million of money belonging to a subsidiary of the bank to be sent to certain securities accounts. Price then allegedly falsely represented the account balances in the securities accounts to conceal his theft of bank funds or his trading losses. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Price in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn, New York, on June 28, 2012, after he was charged with wire fraud.

Price disappeared after telling acquaintances that he had lost a large amount of money through trading activities, and that he planned to kill himself. He was last seen boarding a ferry boat in Key West, Florida, bound for Fort Myers, Florida, on June 16, 2012. At the time, he was wearing a white t-shirt, tan shorts, a maroon baseball cap, and light-colored sneakers. Price has a scar on his left knee.

Price has ties to Florida and Georgia, and may travel to Venezuela and/or Guatemala.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Aubrey Lee Price.

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[UPDATE] Valdosta, Georgia- July 4, 2012

At last check authorities are still looking for Aubrey Lee Price. He was last seen in Key West, Florida. Anyone with information about Price is asked to contact the Atlanta office of the F.B.I or the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. Both numbers are below.

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[UPDATE] Valdosta, Georgia- July 3, 2012

The FBI has accused Aubrey Lee Price of scamming people out of $40 million dollars in Florida and Georgia. And now they say he is missing.

The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that Price began his scam in 2008. Federal Officials say that scam cost
more than 100 investors $40 million dollars. According to his wife- Price, who lived in Lowndes County, left town on June 16th of this year.

Sergeant Aaron Pritchett of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office said "on the 18th of June, his wife and several other family members received letters from Mr. Price indicating that he had traveled to Key West Florida."

That's when communication stopped and the Price family filled out a missing persons report. The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case. They shared with us the last known whereabouts of Price.

Sergeant Pritchett went on to say "he boarded a ferry from Key West to Fort Myers. And subsequently we do not know whether he exited that boat willingly or if he actually got off the boat in Fort Myers."

The Sheriff's Office did share with us that in the letters to his family Price indicated he may harm himself. Anything after him boarding the ferry in Key West is speculation. One thing is certain.. Aubrey Lee Price faces some serious accusations when, and if, he returns.

Anyone with information about Aubrey Lee Price is asked to contact the Atlanta office of the FBI.. Or the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.
THE CONTACT # FOR THE ATLANTA FBI OFFICE IS (404) 679-9000

THE CONTACT # FOR THE LOWNDES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS (229) 671-2985

All callers can remain anonymous.
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July 3, 2012

The federal government has frozen the assets of a Lowndes County man. He's accused of orchestrating an investment fraud amounting to tens-of-millions of dollars.

The FBI says this man scammed people out of 40 million dollars in Florida and Georgia and now they say he is missing.

45-year-old Aubrey Lee Price is an investment adviser who has apparently gone into hiding. Federal officials say Price mismanaged money from more than 100 investors living primarily in Georgia and Florida and then created bogus account statements to cover it up.
Family members say Price left home on June 16th and they haven't heard from him since.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office at 229-671-2900.

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Washington, D.C.-July 2, 2012

The Securities and Exchange Commission today obtained a court order to freeze the assets of a Georgia-based investment adviser who has apparently gone into hiding after orchestrating a $40 million investment fraud.

The SEC alleges that Aubrey Lee Price raised money from more than 100 investors living primarily in Georgia and Florida by selling shares in an unregistered investment fund (PFG) that he managed. Price purported to invest fund assets in traditional marketable securities, but he also made illiquid investments in South America real estate and a troubled South Georgia bank. In order to conceal mounting losses of investor funds, Price created bogus account statements with false account balances and returns that were provided to investors and bank regulators.

“Price raised nearly $40 million from investors and made woeful financial transactions that he hid from them,” said William P. Hicks, Associate Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office. “Now both the money and Price are missing.”

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Price is believed to be a resident of Lowndes County in Georgia after moving from Manatee County, Fla.

The SEC alleges that Price began his scheme in 2008. According to PFG’s private placement memorandum, the investment objective was to achieve “positive total returns with low volatility” by investing in a variety of opportunities, including equity securities traded on the U.S. markets. A significant portion of PFG investor funds – approximately $36.9 million – was placed in a securities trading account at a broker-dealer. The trading account suffered massive trading losses and money was frequently wire-transferred to PFG’s operating bank account. Throughout the time during which PFG suffered trading losses, client account statements prepared by Price were made available to investors indicating fictitious amounts of assets and investment returns.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Price has sent a letter to some individuals dated June 2012 and titled “Confidential Confession For Regulators – PFG, LLC and PFGBI, LLC Summary.” In the 22-page letter, Price admits that he “falsified statements with false returns” in order to conceal between $20 million and $23 million in investor losses.

The Honorable Timothy C. Batten, Sr. granted the SEC’s request for a temporary restraining order and entered an asset freeze for the benefit of investors against Price, PFG, and his affiliated entities.

Anyone with information about Price’s whereabouts should contact the Atlanta office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 404-679-9000 or the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office at 229-671-2985.

The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, was conducted in the Atlanta Regional Office by Senior Trial Counsels David Baddley, Kristin Wilhelm and W. Shawn Murnahan, and Assistant Regional Director Aaron W. Lipson. Mr. Murnahan is leading the SEC’s ongoing litigation. The Commission thanks the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the significant assistance provided in this matter.

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Sheriff Chris Prine stated that his office is currently investigating the disappearance of Aubrey Lee Price, a Lowndes County resident, who was reported as missing by his family. According to family members, Lee Price left his home on June 16, 2012 purporting to fly to Guatemala on a business trip. Lee Price never arrived at his destination nor has he contacted any members of his family. His whereabouts are unknown. Lee Price did mail packages to several persons, including some family members, prior to his disappearance.

Aubrey Lee Price is forty five {45} years old and described as 5’7” tall, approximately 170 pounds and has brown hair.

Sheriff Prine is asking anyone with information about Aubrey Lee Price is asked to contact the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office at {229} 671-2950,


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