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Price Arrested In Coast Guard Air Search And Rescue Suicide Hoax

January 2, 2014 - A man suspected of faking his own death and costing the Coast Guard more than $173,000 was arrested Tuesday near Brunswick, Ga.

Georgia law enforcement authorities say Aubrey Lee Price, 47, was pulled over by police in Brunswick for having illegally tinted windows on his vehicle. Price, who is a former Valdosta, Ga. banker, is also accused of wire and security fraud.

Price was reported missing by his family on June 18, 2012. A family member in Georgia reported the missing man to the Coast Guard after they had received a certified letter believed to be a suicide note from Price. The letter stated Price intended to jump off the Key West Express Ferry in the vicinity of Naples, Fla.


Price’s disappearance prompted the Coast Guard to launch a HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Clearwater, FL. and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Air Station Miami to search from Fort Meyers to Key West.  Coast Guard crews searched from Fort Myers to Key West but suspended the case when his body was not found. 

The hoax placed rescuers unnecessarily in harm's way and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. The cost of operating a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft is $17,866 per hour and the cost of operating an HC-144 Ocean Sentry Aircraft is $15,354 per hour. 

Aubrey Lee Price, who duped investors out of millions of dollars and then disappeared in 2012 after telling acquaintances that he had lost a large amount of money and planned to kill himself, was arrested earlier his week in Georgia and charged yesterday with securities and wire fraud.



According to the charges against him, Price unsuccessfully invested funds he managed and then lied to investors by posting fake account statements that reflected fictitious assets and fabricated investment returns. Price managed about $40 million from 115 investors from across the nation in 2009. 

Then in 2011, as director of Montgomery Bank & Trust in Georgia, Price lost much of the bank’s money by investing in risky equity securities and options. The indictment against him alleges Price covered up his embezzlement and losses by giving the bank’s management fabricated documents falsely indicating that approximately $17 million was on deposit in the bank’s name at a large financial services firm in New York.

In 2012, Price disappeared after leaving a suicide note indicating that he planned to kill himself by throwing himself off a high speed ferry boat in Florida. He was last seen boarding a ferry boat in Key West, Florida, bound for Fort Myers on June 16, 2012.  Price was arrested December 31 in Georgia by deputies from the Glynn County Sheriff’s Department following a traffic violation. When deputies learned of Price's true identity, he was taken into custody.
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