Rather than hire the best wire fraud attorney he could afford, a former Georgia banker faked his own death off the coast of the Florida Keys in 2012 to avoid impending federal wire fraud charges.
That appears to have been a bad decision as this former banker, Aubrey Lee Price, who was recently arrested on New Year’s Eve after a traffic stop in Brunswick, Georgia. The offense that led to the traffic stop was that his truck’s windows were tinted too darkly. However, instead of getting a simple traffic citation, once authorities realized who they were dealing with, Price was taken into custody and now faces federal wire fraud charges.
The wire fraud cases stem from Price’s former position as Director of a bank in South Georgia. The FBI is accusing Price of fraudulent investments which lost investors $21 Million dollars. The fraud allegedly took place between 2010 and 2012. As the fraud began to unfold, Price reportedly told his family that he was going to kill himself by jumping off of a ferry in South Florida. It is unclear whether his family was aware that Price remained alive at the time of his arrest.
If convicted, Price would face many years in Federal prison depending on the calculation of the federal sentencing guidelines. However, the government must prove that any wires were sent by Price in furtherance of a scheme to defraud. It is not uncommon in these types of cases for the defendant to mount a defense claiming that while there were financial losses, there was never any scheme to defraud.
The attorneys at Parkman White, LLP will watch this case closely with interest in how Price attacks the government’s case.