VALDOSTA — An international search continues for Aubrey Lee Price, an investment advisor with Lowndes County connections who is suspected of embezzling approximately $40 million.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation released an updated “Wanted” poster on Monday. Price is described as a 46-year-old male who stands at 5-foot-7 and weighs 170 pounds. He has light brown hair and green eyes. Witnesses may notice a scar on his left knee. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, tan shorts, a maroon baseball cap and light-colored sneakers.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Price.
Price has ties to Florida and Georgia and may travel to Venezuela and Guatemala, according to the FBI.
Price has been missing since June 16. He was last seen aboard a ferry sailing from Key West, Fla., to Fort Myers, according to various media reports.
Initially, Price told his wife, Rebekah L. Price, that he was going to Guatemala on a business trip, according to sources. On June 18, Price’s wife and various acquaintances received a letter explaining that he lost a large amount of money and that he planned to kill himself.
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. That bank was shut down on Friday.
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.
The SEC now knows that the investment was worthless as the assets have been depleted and most of its reserves were lost in trading.
In addition to wire fraud, the SEC alleges that Price hid losses between $20 million and $23 million from clients during the past two years.
Initial reports from authorities and several media outlets reported that Price’s letter to acquaintances stated intentions of suicide. One report was as specific as stating that Price was going to jump off the ferry in Florida. On the wanted poster, the FBI notes that Price may be suicidal.
Locally, according to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority online deed records, Price purchased a home in Lowndes County’s Stone Creek at 4616 Rainwood Circle for $242,000 on May 24 of this year. Price received a 95 percent, 30-year mortgage from Americasave Mortgage Corporation for $229,900, according to the Lowndes County Deed Book. Records show that on June 7, Price deeded the title from himself individually to his wife, Rebekah, as “Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship,” meaning if one of them was to die, the survivor automatically receives the full interest.
If you have any information concerning Price, contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. The FBI’s Valdosta satellite office may be contacted at (229) 247-2292.
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