Former Sarasota businessman accused of faking death appears in c - WFLA News Channel 8

Former Sarasota businessman accused of faking death appears in court

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Aubrey Lee Price was declared dead, but was on the run, wanted by the FBI for wire fraud Aubrey Lee Price was declared dead, but was on the run, wanted by the FBI for wire fraud
Aubrey Lee Price was declared dead, but was on the run, wanted by the FBI for wire fraud. Aubrey Lee Price was declared dead, but was on the run, wanted by the FBI for wire fraud.
A former Sarasota businessman who is accused of faking his own death appeared before a federal judge in Georgia on Thursday.

Aubrey Lee Price vanished in 2012 after allegedly stealing millions of dollars. He was arrested in Georgia on Tuesday after deputies pulled him over for driving with illegal tinted windows.

It turned out that 47-year-old Aubrey Lee Price had been legally declared dead and was on the run, wanted by the FBI for wire fraud.

Price is a former pastor who lived in Bradenton for at least five years. He also started businesses in the local area, one was located on Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota. Price later moved to South Georgia where he ran a bank.

Authorities say from 2010 to 2012 Price embezzled $21 million from more than 100 investors. Officials say he created a fake company in New York to funnel money through fraudulent wire transfers and phony investments.

Before going on the run, he wrote a rambling suicide note. In it, he admitted guilt and wrote that he planned to jump off a ferry boat. He was last seen in June 2012 boarding a boat from Key West to Fort Myers.

A judge later declared him dead, but the FBI always believed he was alive. On Tuesday morning he was found, much to the joy of his victims.

Related: GA banker accused of losing millions due in court


Victim Wendy Cross said, "Justice prevails, and the big foot of karma will come back and squash you."

Price appeared before a judge in Brunswick, Georgia on Thursday. He said his family never knew that he was alive. Old pictures showed Price in a suit with a clean-cut haircut. But, today he looks very different. With long, dark shoulder length hair and a goatee. Officials say he had returned to South Georgia because he was renewing a tag on his truck.

Price faces up to 30 years in prison. The judge issued no bond. He has a bond hearing in front of a federal judge in Savanna, GA on January 6th.

In another development, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said Price had been renting out a home in Citra, Florida. Deputies raided the home on Wednesday and found a grow house with 225 marijuana plants.

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