BRUNSWICK, Ga - A fugitive banker with ties to southwest Florida appeared in federal court Thursday. Aubrey Lee Price is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from investors. He was last seen in the Key West Express terminal more than a year ago checking his bag to Fort Myers.
He was pulled over in Georgia, the state he once worked as a banker, for a window tint violation. A U.S. Marshal says Price was homeless before his arrest.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted the unidentified marshal as telling a federal judge in Brunswick, Ga., that Aubrey Lee Price claimed he'd been working as a migrant worker, accepting cash for odd jobs.
In 2012 he left behind a note saying he planned to kill himself by jumping off the Key West Express. Instead, he disappeared.
The man in the mugshot looks nothing like the smiling banker authorities say embezzled tens of millions from more than 100 investors
His arrest stuns Tracey Morris, a friend of one of his alleged victims. "I cannot believe he had the nerve to hide out so close to home," Morris said.
Video from June 2012 shows the last known images of Price as he checked a bag, ready to board the Key West Express to Fort Myers.
Instead, Price vanished into thin air. A judge declared him legally dead. But the FBI suspected the suicide was faked and never stopped looking for him.
After his disappearance, WINK News talked exclusively talked to two women who were on the boat the day. They told WINK News the boat was packed, and anyone who jumped overboard would have been seen immediately
Price said he had returned to Georgia to renew the tag on his truck.
He's charged with one count of bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to one million dollars.