The Curious Case of Aubrey Lee Price

aubrey lee priceIf you see Aubrey Lee Price, tell him to phone home.

But don’t let him know there’s an APB with his name on it and federal and local Georgia law enforcement agencies in pursuit.

Business Insider reports that the infamous Aubrey Lee Price, a money manager from the Peach Tree state, split the scene and went underground by apparently faking his own death. But before doing so he bilked a number of investors of their retirement funds and other investments. And if reports are correct, the rogue money manager swindled investors to the tune of $17 million (that’s 17 Million dollars).

But fear not as federal agents have launched a nationwide manhunt for Price. Rumor has it that he “faked his own suicide” and skipped town with the loot he swiped from various brokerage accounts during a two year reign of fraud.

So how does a person get up in the morning and then fake a suicide? And if a body is not is found, how do authorities prove it was a fake death? Well, the story goes that Mr. Price left behind a suicide note in which he admitted his evil deeds.

“I created false financial statements and defrauded investors, regulators, other work associates and bank employees,” Price wrote.

And then the suicide artiste went on to say that he planned on jumping off a ferry that was headed toward Fort Myers, Florida. But before he hopped over the rail of that ferry, or not, a complaint was issued against the missing Mr. Price by the US District Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The complaint alleges that Aubrey Lee Price bought a controlling interest in a southern Georgia bank through a sham outfit he set up, PFG LLC. This move gave him access to investors’ accounts where he then fraudulently wired bank funds to accounts he controlled at other financial firms. He then tried to cover his tracks by providing bank management with bogus documents to make it look like he invested the loot in Treasuries.

And what kind of money manager invests in Treasuries these days, besides Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke? But that’s another story.

Since his note was found the U.S. Coast Guard has yet to turn up a body, and authorities believe it was bogus.

“I don’t believe he’s dead. I believe he planned for this exit,” said one injured investor. “That guy was the best actor.” Just don’t tell that to Peter Falk, otherwise known as Detective Columbo.

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Kyle Colona is a New York-based freelance writer and a Feature Writer for CompliancEX and the Wall Street Job Report. He has an extensive background in legal and regulatory affairs in the financial services sector and his work has appeared in a variety of print and on-line publications. You can find him on linkedin.

Image Credit Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office

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