A former Georgia community banker who was accused of fraud and faked suicide has pleaded guilty to three felony charges for his role in allegedly defrauding a bank and private investors.
Aubrey Lee Price, 47, pleaded guilty to bank, securities and wire fraud for his role in the June 2012 failure of Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey, Ga. Price faces up to 30 years in prison and will pay millions of dollars in restitution and fines, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a release.
Calls to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia, one of the offices prosecuting the case, were not immediately returned. A federal public defender assigned to represent Price also could not be reached.
An investment group that Price controlled invested about $10 million in Montgomery Bank in 2010, and Price was made a director and given responsibility for its investments. Price was accused of embezzling more than $21 million in capital from the bank and then losing it in risky investments.
Price disappeared around June 2012, the time of the bank's failure, and he sent letters to acquaintances saying he planned to commit suicide by jumping off a high-speed ferry in Florida. Searchers could not locate his body and he was later declared dead.
Price was apprehended in January near Brunswick, Ga., when he was pulled over for a traffic violation.
During Thursday's hearing at a federal courthouse in Statesboro, Ga., Price said, "I genuinely and humbly accept responsibility for my unlawful behavior and criminal conduct. I betrayed and lost the confidence of my fellow man," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Price admitted to trying marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, morphine, Xanax and Adderall while he was missing, the paper said.