Jailed banker writes letter to embezzled investors

ATLANTA -- A South Georgia banker accused of embezzling millions from investors wrote a letter to his alleged victims from his jail cell.

In the letter, Aubrey Lee Price pledged to help make restitution to his alleged victims but it could get him into more hot water. Two Atlanta area investors confirmed they received the letter from Price. They said the return address on the envelope was from the Bulloch County jail in Statesboro where Price is being held.

One legal expert said Price may be setting himself up for more charges. "And I'm sure his attorneys are upset with him, I know I would be," said defense attorney Bill McKenney.

In the letter Price told investors "Hopefully you will learn of my commitment to do whatever I can all the days of my life to make full restitution of your financial losses."

McKenney said prosecutors may see the letter as tampering or an attempt to influence witnesses. "These people (victims) may not testify as strongly because they know if they do, he may go to jail," McKenney said. "If he goes to jail they won't get their money."

Price is accused of embezzling over $20 million from investors. Authorities say he staged his own death in the Gulf of Mexico after disappearing in June 2012, leaving his wife and family behind. On New Year's Eve he was captured near Savannah by two Sheriff Deputies who stopped him in a pickup truck with tinted windows.

In the letter Price offered investors his "deepest and sincere apologies for the financial, emotional, and painful losses you have experienced as a result of my mismanagement of your investments."

McKenney said mismanagement is not a crime unless it was intentional. "And he's trying to convince potential witnesses that I made a mistake, it was an error in judgment, but I never had the intent," he said. "So he's actually trying to plead his case now before he even gets to court."

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