He faked his death and went cage fighting

Last updated 14:04 06/08/2014
Aubrey Lee Price
Reuters

A NEW LIFE: Aubrey Lee Price went from a mild mannered banker to six different personas.

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An American man who faked his owned death spent his 18 months on the run drug-dealing, cage fighting and hanging out with prostitutes.

Pastor-turned-financial-adviser Aubrey Lee Price disappeared after embezzling millions from clients in 2012.

The 47-year-old sent his family and friends "suicide notes" before boarding a ferry and disappearing.

The married father-of-four was officially pronounced dead six months later, believed to have jumped from the ship and died.

But in December last year, he was discovered alive and well when he was pulled over by police for having his windows tinted too darkly.

In an outrageous interview with Esquire magazine, Price said he initially had planned to kill himself, but could not go through with it.

He threw everything overboard on the ferry except a backpack containing his driver's licence and wedding ring, and $18.

Then he travelled to South America to work for a former business contact and found himself in a warehouse "stuffed full of coke".

He worked for the drug kingpin for a while before returning to the US, where he created six new personas and fake IDs.

He started exercising and lifting weights to change his appearance and got involved in cage fighting in New York.

Price said he bunked down in cheap hotels, including sharing rooms with prostitutes - but insisted he "remained chaste the whole time".

During that time, the only thing that kept him alive was his kids, he told the magazine, but never made contact as he was worried they'd get in trouble.

But he bizarrely also talked about his longing to see his dog, a golden retriever named Holly Jolly.

"I probably won't see my dog ever again. And she was my best friend."

Price said he didn't enjoy his time on the run and was constantly paranoid.

The day he was caught, he was driving in his car, feeling "angry at God".

"I felt like I wasn't making any progress towards restitution," he said.

"I remember saying, 'Lord, where are you?' I said that, like, ten times.

"And then I looked up and there were blue lights behind me. I said, 'Thanks, Lord. That's where you are.

"So I pulled over 18 months after I disappeared. And that was it."

Price told Esquire he was "disappointed" in the reward the authorities had offered for his capture.

"It was only $20,000! I was on the FBI's top ten list! Come on, put some money out there," he said.

"I wanted to be number one."

Price is now serving a 30-year prison sentence and has been ordered to repay the clients he defrauded.

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