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Coast Guard: hoax search cost $173,000

A man suspected of faking his own death and costing the Coast Guard more than $173,000 was arrested on New Year’s Eve near Brunswick, Ga.

Georgia law enforcement authorities say Aubrey Lee Price, 47, was pulled over by police in Brunswick for having illegally tinted windows on his vehicle. Price, who is a former Valdosta, Ga., banker, is also accused of wire and security fraud.

Price was reported missing by his family on June 18, 2012 after a suicide note from Price was found stating he intended to jump off the Key West Express Ferry near Naples, Fla.

Price’s disappearance prompted the Coast Guard to launch a HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Air Station Miami to search from Fort Meyers to Key West. Coast Guard crews searched from Fort Myers to Key West, but suspended the case was not found.

Click here for the full report, including a before/after pictures of the banker turned fugitive.