MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Georgia banker, who faked his own death when he disappeared in Florida, was found hiding in plain sight not too far from where he lived.
Aubrey Price, 47, is accused of embezzling $21 million from more than 100 investors between 2010 and 2012. Prosecutors said instead of investing the money head in the Montgomery Bank and Trust where he worked, he created a dummy company in New York to the funnel the funds through fraudulent wire transfers and phony investments.
Before going on the run, Price wrote a 22-page confession letter to his family in which he also told them he planned to kill himself off the coast of Florida by jumping from a ferry boat.
Photos obtained by investigators show Price dressed in shorts and a t-shirt arriving at the Key West International Airport carrying a suitcase they day he disappeared.
Surveillance video from that day shows him at the ferry terminal in Key West where he led his family to believe he was going to take his own life.
Price was reported missing by his family on June 18, 2012. Price’s suicide letter stated that he planned to jump off the Key West Express Ferry in the vicinity of Naples.
The Coast Guard was alerted and mounted a massive search with crews from Miami and Clearwater but suspended it after they were unable to locate a body.
Without conclusive evidence that Price had died, the FBI kept the case open.
Creating a hoax or making a false distress call is a felony punishable by law. The maximum penalty for making a false distress call is six years in prison, a $5,000 civil fine, a $250,000 criminal fine and reimbursement to the Coast Guard.
Nearly a year after being declared dead, Price was pulled over during a traffic stop on New Year’s Eve in Brunswick, Georgia.
Why was he stopped? Because his vehicle’s window tint was too dark.
Price faces up to 30 years in prison.