Official confirms death of Lawrence investment adviser accused of fraud

The Douglas County Coroner’s office on Friday confirmed that a Lawrence man who was under state investigation for securities fraud has died, but law enforcement officials would not say whether he was the same person whose body was found Tuesday afternoon, dead from an apparent suicide.

Gregory A. Price, who operated Price Financial Group, was pronounced dead shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, an official in the coroner’s office said.

That was roughly the same time that Lawrence police responded to a reported shooting on the 300 block of Maine Street, near Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Police have told the Journal-World that they were investigating that shooting as a suicide.

But they would not confirm the identity of the victim, citing an exception to the Kansas Open Records Act that allows authorities to close records if their release would constitute an invasion of personal privacy.

On Oct. 9, Kansas Securities Commissioner John Wine announced that he had issued a cease and desist order against Price, who had been permanently barred from the securities industry since 2007, and his company.

The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday, before Price’s death had been made public, that Price had been accused of operating a Bernie Madoff-style investment scam, essentially bilking investors out of their money by selling phony investment accounts and sending his clients fake statements showing that they were earning money.

The seven-page cease and desist order indicates that on Oct. 3, the Douglas County District Court entered a judgment against Price after finding that he had bilked at least one investor out of more than $286,000, beginning in 2015, and that he falsely represented to the client that the money was invested in a T.D. Ameritrade account.

The order indicates that the plaintiff in that case later learned that there was no such account, and that the account number that showed up on statements was not even in the format used by T.D. Ameritrade.

According to the order, Price was last employed as a broker-dealer and investment adviser at Morgan Stanley DW, but he terminated employment there in 2003.

In 2007, he agreed to a consent order and stipulation in which he was permanently barred from working in the securities industry in Kansas.