BULLETIN: Missing Investment Adviser Named In SEC Civil Complaint Yesterday In Atlanta Has Been Charged Criminally In New York

BULLETIN: Aubrey Lee Price, the missing Georgia man sued by the SEC in an alleged $40 million investment-fraud caper that depleted “substantially all” of the reserves of a bank in Southern Georgia, has been charged criminally in New York with embezzling $17 million from the bank.

The office of U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York said Price “disappeared after telling acquaintances that he had lost a large amount of money through trading activities and that he planned to kill himself.”

He has been missing since at least June 16, prosecutors said.

Price last was seen boarding a ferry boat in Key West, Fla. The ferry was bound for Fort Myers, prosecutors said.

“Price has told acquaintances that he owns real estate in Venezuela and Guatemala,” prosecutors said. “Price recently traveled to Venezuela and returned to the United States from that trip on June 2, 2012.”

After a Price company bought a controlling portion of the bank’s stock in December 2010, he “took on the responsibility of investing the bank’s capital” in early 2011, prosecutors said.

Although the bank was told Price was investing the bank’s capital in U.S. Treasury securities, “Price fraudulently wired the bank’s funds to accounts that he personally controlled at other financial institutions and provided bank management with altered documents to make it appear as if he had invested the bank’s money in Treasury securities,” prosecutors said.

The FBI is leading the criminal probe.

Anyone with information regarding Price’s whereabouts or the alleged crime is urged to contact the FBI’s office in New York at 212-384-1000. Prosecutors said this email address also may be used: ny1@ic.fbi.gov.

Persons with information on his whereabouts also may contact the Atlanta office of the FBI at 404-679-9000 or the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office at 229-671-2985, the SEC said yesterday.

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