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Aubrey Lee Price: Bank director disappears with $40 million

Georgia bank director Aubrey Lee Price wrote a rambling letter of confession to financial regulators and notes to his family before disappearing with $40 million.
Aubrey Lee PriceEnlarge
An undated photo of Georgia bank director Aubrey Lee Price, who disappeared last month with up to $40 million. (Lowndes County Sheriff's Office/Courtesy)

Georgia bank director Aubrey Lee Price wrote a rambling letter of confession to financial regulators and notes to his family before disappearing with $40 million.

Price, 46, has been missing since at least June 16, according to the New York Daily News. He has been charged by the US Attorney's Office with wire fraud for the embezzlement of $17 million from the Montgomery Bank & Trust, where he was a director in charge of investments, and has also been accused of losing between $20 million and $23 million of his clients' money. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said he admitted he "falsified statements with false returns" to hide the losses.

"Price raised nearly $40 million from investors and made woeful financial transactions that he hid from them," William P. Hicks, associate director of the SEC's Atlanta Regional Office, told CBS News. "Now both the money and Price are missing."

Family and friends of the missing bank director said they believe he is dead, but federal investigators aren't so sure and have offered $20,000 for information leading to his arrest, reported the Associated Press. Price boarded a ferry in Key West, Fla., earlier this month and hasn't been seen since.

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"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 wrote in what investigators believe to be a confession letter, according to the AP. "I created false statements, covered up my losses and deceived and hurt the very people I was trying to help."

According to FBI special agent Michael Howard, Price also wrote in the letter that he planned to kill himself by jumping from a ferry, reported ABC News.

"Despite a recent search by the Coast Guard, Price's body has not been recovered," Howard said in a June 28 affidavit seeking a warrant for Price’s arrest.

Price is known to have traveled frequently to Venezuela and Guatemala, according to ABC. He may also own a boat large enough to travel from Florida to Venezuela.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/aubrey-lee-price-bank-director-disappears-40-million