The banker fugitive who sold his Bradenton home in 2012 and attempted to disappear from authorities last year has been indicted by a federal grand jury Friday. He remains missing and is believed to be alive.
Aubrey Price, 46, was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York with securities and wire fraud, according to the Department of Justice.
Price was the subject of a federal manhunt in June 2012 when he sold her bayfront Bradenton house just weeks before he boarded a Key West ferry headed to Ft. Myers and attempted to elude authorities. He was wanted after confessing in a letter to acquaintances in mid-June that he lost $17 million in investor money and told friends he would kill himself.
Price lived in Bradenton until me moved his family to Valdosta, Ga., in early 2012. According to the indictment, Price managed investment funds PFG LLC (“PFG”) and the Montgomery Growth Fund. Around June 2009, PFG raised approximately $40 million from approximately 115 investors from across the U.S.
“As charged in the indictment, this defendant repeatedly abused the trust placed in him by his investors and MB&T by lying about his investment losses, fabricating documents, and embezzling bank fund," said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. "Through this web of deception, Price acted to create the image of a successful investor. When that image was shown to be a lie, he then orchestrated his confession and disappearance. We are using every resource available to locate him and recover the funds he stole.”
Price unsuccessfully invested PFG funds in various equity securities, options, and real estate, including farms in South America, according to the Department of Justice. To cover up his losses, Price allegedly lied to his investors by posting fake account statements on a secure PFG web site that fraudulently reflected fictitious assets and fabricated investment returns.
The indictment also states that, starting in or about January 2011, Price became a director of Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey, Ga.
Price also invested some of the bank’s capital, which he told the bank’s management he would invest safely in U.S. Treasury securities. Instead, Price lost much of the bank’s money through what the federal government considers risky investments in equity securities and options. Price also embezzled MB&T money to pay redemptions to some PFG investors.
The indictment charges that Price covered up his embezzlement and losses of MB&T’s funds by giving the bank’s management fabricated documents falsely saying that an estimated $17 million was deposited in the bank’s name at a large financial services firm in New York.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Venizelos said Price led the investors on, and lying to the bank at the same time.
"It is therefore reasonable to assume that Price’s talk of suicide was also a lie," he said. "The FBI is actively looking for Aubrey Lee Price.”
Price sold his 3212 Bay Drive home for nearly $1 million May 12 after transferring the property between his name and PFG LLC, a company that Aubrey and Rebekah Price managed, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Price still owned a two bedroom, one bath condominium off of el Conquistador Parkway. The condo was assessed at $92,251 in 2011, according to his TRIM notice from the county.
If convicted, Price faces a maximum prison sentence of 30 years for wire fraud and 25 years for securities fraud, according to the Department of Justice.
If you know of Price's whereabouts, contract the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 212-384-1000 or email email@example.com.