After $134 million was found missing from the funds he managed, a flamboyant former professor is now claiming amnesia after being charged with lying to federal investigators. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Charleston, South Carolina, said Al Parish, 49, made false statements and provided false documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The former Charleston Southern University professor then surrendered to FBI agents.
Last week, the SEC reported that Parish had been charged with civil fraud, saying he provided false statements to over 300 investors indicating that the five funds he managed were trading profitably. The SEC said that after it tried to contact Parish, “he checked into a local hospital claiming to have amnesia.”
While his attorney said Parish had remained in the area since the civil case began and would not flee, prosecutors argued that Parish is a flight risk because of the large amount of missing funds involved in the case and should therefore be held without bail. The judge agreed ordering Parish to be held without bail. If convicted, Parish faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Parish was known as a colorful stock-market whiz with flashy suits and a million-dollar pen collection. His employer had even given him investment control over a $10 million scholarship fund. Many elderly investors had entrusted their retirment funds to Parish. Officials at Charleston Southern University and other investors expressed shock when they learned their assets were missing.
Shepherd Smith and Edwards represents investors who have been the victim of investment fraud and has even assisted some investors to recover a portion of their stolen funds. If you feel that you have been a victim of investment fraud, call for a free consultation at 1-800-259-9010 or contact Shepherd Smith and Edwards online.