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Banker Accused of Faking Death Says Family Didn’t Know

Image: Combination photo of Aubrey Lee Price
Aubrey Lee Price is shown in a combination of a photo from the FBI an undated booking photo from the Glynn County Sheriff's Office. FBI and Glynn County Sheriff's Office / Reuters

A former banker accused of faking his own death 18 months ago to cover up the theft of millions of dollars told authorities his family didn't know he was alive and that he had returned to Georgia to renew the tag on his truck.

Aubrey Lee Price, 47, was arrested Tuesday during a routine traffic stop in Brunswick, Ga., and appeared in a federal courtroom Thursday morning to hear charges against him.

U.S. District Court Judge James Graham ordered a bond hearing for Price next week in Savannah, Ga., The Associated Press reported. A U.S. marshal told the judge Price said he was homeless and had been working odd jobs to support himself, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

An FBI spokesman said Price said his family didn't know he was alive, the AP reported.

Price was alleged to have stolen millions in an investment scheme that began in 2009, according to federal court documents. Beginning in January 2011, he moved $21 million from a small bank in southern Georgia, the Montgomery Bank & Trust, to other accounts to hide thefts and losses on investments and trading, the FBI said. The fraud led to the bank's collapse.

According to a federal indictment, he was last seen in Key West, Fla., on June 16, 2012, boarding a ferry for Fort Myers, Fla., after hinting at suicide in a rambling letter.