If you run into Aubrey Lee Price, try to make a note of where and when it happened. The FBI would like to ask him some questions.
Price was, until recently, the director of Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey, Georgia. Now he's missing, and federal investigators think he may have taken $17 million in embezzled funds with him.
Price was charged earlier this month with wire fraud, according to an FBI press release. He's suspected of steering Montgomery Bank's money into his own accounts, rather than investing it in Treasury securities, as he told management he would do.
In mid-June, Price vanished, leaving behind a 20-plus page confession letter that also seemed to function as a suicide note. In the letter, Price wrote that he "created false financial statements and defrauded investors, regulators, other work associates and bank employees," and that he felt "emotionally overwhelmed and incapable of continuing in this life," according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Price's letter has an echo of Samuel Israel III, the hedge fund manager who in 2008 received a 20-year prison sentence for defrauding investors of $450 million, only to disappear a few weeks later, leaving behind only the words "Suicide is Painless" written in the pollen on his car.
Israel later turned himself in to police, ending speculation about whether he was alive or dead.
As for Price, he was last seen on a ferry out of Key West, Florida, bound for Fort Meyers, according to the FBI. The bureau's release notes that Price is believed to own property in Venezuela and Guatemala. According to the AJC, investigators are offering up to $20,000 for information that leads to Price's arrest.
Regulators shut down Montgomery Bank last week.
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