Former Georgia Banker Sentenced for Ponzi Scheme and Other Federal Charges

Former Georgia Banker Who Faked Death Over Ponzi Scheme Failure Sentenced for Federal Charges

ponzi schemeOn Thursday, June 5th of this year, a former Georgia banker, who created an elaborate Ponzi scheme then faked his own death pleaded, guilty to 17 federal charges, including bank and securities fraud. On October 29th, the 48-year-old fraudster was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Aubrey Lee Price, the defendant, ran a company that invested in a failing bank – Montgomery Bank & Trust – in 2010. Price was then made director of the bank and put in charge of investing the company’s money. Price told the bank that he would invest the institution’s capital in US Treasury securities.  Instead of investigating the money, Price embezzled $21 million over an 18 month period, losing much of it in risky equity securities options.

Further investigation into these charges uncovered another incident of embezzling from June 2009 to June 2012. Price defrauded these individuals after they invested millions in two investment firms that Price managed. He raised about $51 million that he unsuccessfully invested in equity securities and options. After losing most of the money, Price tried to cover up the losses by posting fake account statements, listing made-up assets and false investment returns. His cover-up defrauded 115 participants of their money.

Price disappeared in 2012 after sending a rambling letter to his family and associates, which investigators believed to be a question. He also sent numerous “suicide letters” to associates. After a search, a Florida judge declared Price dead in 2013; however, the FBI continued their search for Price, as they did not believe he was dead. After a lengthy search, Price was found in Brunswick, GA during a routine traffic stop on December 31st, 2013.

He had faked his own death to avoid the numerous federal charges against him.

“Through a web of lies and deceit, Aubrey Lee Price conned his elderly investors and a federally insured bank of more than $70 million, and then attempted to further his con and avoid accountability by faking his own death. However, his life on the lam ended with a routine traffic stop. Today’s sentence sends a strong message to those who seek to defraud the investing public and our financial institutions that we will pursue them and bring them to justice,” stated United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch.

“The sentence imposed today reflects the magnitude of Aubrey Lee Price’s fraud,” said United States Attorney Tarver. “Price engaged in a staggering betrayal of trust, leaving his elderly investors practically penniless, and at the same time, contributing to the collapse of a federally insured bank. For his crimes, Price richly deserves the heavy sentence handed down today by the Court.”

Southeast Georgia Federal Charges and Criminal Defense Attorney

Being arrested or investigated for federal charges, such as fraud, conspiracy, Ponzi schemes, or racketeering, can mean many things. What it does not mean is that you are guilty or that you have no rights. For an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights and work to have your charges reduced or even dismissed, contact the federal criminal defense attorney at the Strom Law Firm, today for a no cost consultation to discuss our experience and knowledge of the system can help you. 803.252.4800