It may be one of the most bizarre stories of white collar crime I have ever read. His name is Aubrey Price and he will be sentenced next week for bank, wire, and securities fraud. It is a familiar theme, a pastor that has figured out how to beat the stock market. Price, a former pastor turned investment guru in 2009, raised $50 million dollars from investors. The story seems simple enough. He was unable to generate the returns he promised, and rather than admit to the poor results, he cooked the books. Investors were led to believe that they were doing well, all the while Price was losing money hand over fist in the financial markets.
Price doubled down when he used investor funds to buy a flailing Georgia bank. He then illegally used the bank's capital to cover his trading losses, and things got exponentially worse. When his financial house of cards began to collapse, he went on the lam leaving behind his wife and four children. The letter he left seemed to double as both an explanation and a suicide note.
Faking His Own Death
In June of 2012 (after detailing his plans to commit suicide in his letter) he took the ferry from Key West to Fort Meyers. There was video of Price getting on the ferry, but no sign of him ever getting off. No body was ever recovered, so he was presumed to have committed suicide by jumping overboard (a Florida court declared him to be legally dead six months later). He may have gotten the idea from the similarly faked suicide of Olivia Newton John's boyfriend, Patrick McDermott.
After he went on the lam, he became a cage fighter, made additional income smuggling drugs from Venezuela, and growing marijuana. He used software to create fake ID's and went by the names Jason, Diesel, Gator, and Javier. Price's capture was uneventful when he was pulled over on I-95 in Brunswick, Georgia last New Year's Eve during a routine traffic stop.
He faces up to 30 years in prison and restitution of more than $50 million dollars.
Update: Price was sentenced to 30 years on October 28.
Helping you make the most of God's money!