AILEY, Ga. -- The city of Ailey is a small quiet town near Middle Georgia. It only covers two square miles of land and has a population of 543, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Its neighboring cities are also small cities like Mount Vernon which covers 4.1 square miles of land and is also home to the only bank in the Ailey area.
Montgomery Bank and Trust was the only bank in Ailey. The FDIC shut it down in the summer of 2012 after Aubrey Lee Price, the bank director, disappeared after allegedly embezzling over $20 million in investor funds. Days later, Ameris Bank opened at the same location -- but the bank also closed permanently on November 15, 2013.
"Well we've only got one bank here, Mount Vernon bank, since they've closed the other bank and I wish somebody would open up that bank," said Brenda Reynolds, a longtime resident of Mount Vernon.
Vernon has run her own day care for 25 years.
"Well I did have an account in Ailey we started off in Ailey, but then we just moved everything there up here before all that trouble got started thank goodness," she said.
Many residents say they've chosen to bank in Vidalia, which is about 10 miles away and is also the city where many residents work like Jerry Rogers. Rogers said no one had heard or spoke about Price again until last week when he was caught in Georgia.
"I figured they were going to get him eventually I actually thought he was already overseas but I didn't realize he stayed around like he did," Rogers said.
But he did apparently. Authorities in Marion County say they found 225 marijuana plants in the home Price was renting. The Sheriff's Office said the FBI is taking over that investigation.
Records show Price had a home in Valdosta, Ga, and Bradenton, Fla. Police say after he disappeared, he wrote letters to several people saying he had lost a large sum of money and planned to commit suicide. He was last seen boarding a ferry in Key West for Ft. Myers. Until he was arrested after a traffic stop in Brunswick, Georgia.
"I was so glad I said it was about time, it's about time because you know, he's been, all these people have lost their jobs I mean everybody over there lost their job," Reynolds said.
Reynolds and others will find out what's next on Wednesday when Price is scheduled to appear in court in Statesboro.
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