AILEY, Ga. — A south Georgia bank closed by federal regulators has a missing board member who is accused of millions in fraud.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey on Friday. The bank, 170 miles southeast of Atlanta, had struggled for several years with bad loans made during the expansion boom on Georgia’s coast.
On Tuesday, the U.S. attorney’s office in New York announced that missing director Aubrey Lee Price has been charged with wire fraud involving the embezzlement of $17 million from the bank.
The banker has been missing at least since June 16. He vanished after writing friends to tell them he wanted to kill himself, authorities said.
Investigators say Price, 46, was last seen boarding a ferry in Key West, Fla., bound for Fort Myers, Fla. He had “previously stated that he owns real estate in Venezuela” and “may own a boat that would be large enough to travel to Venezuela from Florida,” the complaint says.
The FDIC said Montgomery Bank was acquired by Moultrie-based Ameris Bank. Ameris is assuming all of the bank’s $164 million in deposits, and the FDIC is retaining the bulk of the failed bank’s $173 million in assets.