Captured: Banker in fraud case who faked death
A FORMER Georgia bank director who faked his own death while under suspicion that he embezzled US$21 million (about S$27 million) has been captured 18 months after he disappeared.
More than 200 marijuana plants were also found at the rented Florida home of Aubrey Lee Price, who was on the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Most Wanted" list.
Sheriff's deputies arrested Price, 47, during a traffic stop on Interstate 95 near Brunswick, Georgia, last Tuesday after noticing that the windows of his pickup appeared to be tinted too darkly to comply with state law, Glynn County Sheriff Neal Jump said.
Price disappeared before his indictment in Georgia on one count of bank fraud in July 2012.
He left behind a written confession and a note for family and friends saying that he planned to kill himself, the authorities said.
His wife, Mrs Rebeka Price, did not know where her husband spent the last 18 months. Her lawyer, Mr John Holt, said: "She's been completely in the dark."
She did not benefit from his life insurance, but instead had to scratch a living to provide for her children, aged from around 10 to 20 years old, the Daily Mail said. But the worst was behind her when she heard the news that her husband was alive after all.
When Price was discovered, he had several identification cards in his truck and failed to say which one identified him correctly, the sheriff said. "The gentleman's story just didn't add up."
Price was charged with giving false information and taken to jail, where he told the authorities his correct name.
The bank-fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a US$1-million fine.
Price previously controlled an investment group that put US$10 million into Montgomery Bank & Trust (MB&T), a small bank in Ailey, Georgia, according to the federal indictment.
After being named a bank director, he "fraudulently obtained over US$21 million of MB&T funds, which he then misappropriated, embezzled, and lost in speculative trading and other investing", the indictment said.