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Former Banker Reveals Past Life as Expert Cocaine Taster

Aubrey Lee Price went from family man to fugitive marijuana grower.

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By Victoria Kim

05/29/14

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When Aubrey Lee Price was arrested last December, the country was in awe at his dramatic transformation from clean-cut banker to a glassy-eyed perp. Now Price has recently detailed his bizarre odyssey in Atlanta magazine as he sits in jail awaiting trial for federal bank fraud.

The former investment manager started out in Valdosta, Ga., where he had been living. He ran a Ponzi scheme out of a small community bank where he served as a board member in 2010 and embezzled $21 million. In June 2012, he faked his death before hitting the road, leaving a confession saying he planned to commit suicide by leaping from a ferry in the Florida Keys. Months later, a Florida judge declared him dead, but the FBI wasn’t convinced.

In his tell-all, Price said he fled to Latin America, where he was an “expert taster of cocaine.” After his stint south of the border, he claimed he ended up in Florida, where he grew marijuana out of a mobile home in rural Citra. It was at this time that Price went on a journey to “restore my spirit and soul…and rebuild some mental capital.”

This all led up to his arrest in December. Marion County authorities discovered 225 marijuana plants in Price’s Jacksonville home. As he awaits trial, Price expects to spend the next several decades in prison.

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