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Fugitive banker may have run marijuana grow house

8:24 AM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. - A banker who's charged with embezzling millions and then spending 18 months on the run was in court Thursday.

Aubrey Price looked completely different, than the man police say stole millions from investors.

Price was indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2012 for stealing more than $21 million from a small bank he was managing in Ailey in south Georgia.

Price apparently wasn't living a millionaires lifestyle for the past year and a half. At the hearing Price's lawyer said Price was homeless and worked menial jobs for cash.

But investigators wonder if he may have been involved in an illicit endeavor while on the run. Marion County Sheriff deputies in Florida served a search warrant at a property rented by Price and found a marijuana grow house. 225 marijuana plants were removed from the property.

Price vanished in 2012 after writing a note to friends and associates saying he lost money and didn't want to live anymore. In the note he indicated he was going to kill himself by jumping off a ferry.

Price was last seen on surveillance video in Key West, FL boarding a ferry boat to Fort Meyers, FL. A US Coast Guard helicopter search the waters between those two cities cost over $173,000.

"The hoax (note) placed rescuers unnecessarily in harm's way and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars," the US Coast Guard said in a press release Thursday. "Creating a hoax or making a false distress call is a felony punishable by law."

Tuesday, police in Brunswick pulled Price over for having tinted windows and discovered he was wanted.

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