A former bank director accused of spearheading a massive investment scheme was arrested after a year and a half on the lam.

Police in Glynn County, Ga., caught Aubrey Lee Price on Tuesday when they stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation, according to multiple news reports. Price, 47, had been missing since June 2012, when he sent a letter to acquaintances confessing that he had "lost a large amount of investor money through trading activities" and planned to commit suicide by jumping from a ferry boat in Florida, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York.

Price faces securities and wire fraud charges stemming from his tenure as a private investment fund manager and director of the failed Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey, Ga. Starting in early 2011, he allegedly embezzled roughly $17 million in funds that he was supposed to invest on behalf of the bank, according to a complaint by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

"Price opened brokerage accounts that cleared through a securities clearing and custodial firm in New York and told the bank's management that he would invest the bank's capital in treasury securities," the complaint said. "Instead of investing the money as promised, 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."

Price, who managed investment funds PFG LLC and Montgomery Growth Fund, is also accused of covering up bad investments by falsifying account statements on his company's website. Price was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York in January 2013; he faces up to 30 years in prison.

Regulators closed Montgomery in June 2012. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. sold its deposits and a portion of its assets to the $2.8 billion-asset Ameris Bank in Moultrie, Ga.

 

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