CHARLESTON, S.C. – A flamboyant former professor who claimed amnesia after $134 million turned up missing from funds he managed was charged Thursday with lying to federal investigators.
The U.S. Attorney's office in 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 surrendered to FBI agents Thursday morning.
The SEC last week accused Parish of civil fraud, saying he provided false statements to his 300 investors indicating that the five funds were trading profitably. The SEC said that after it tried to contact Parish, "he checked into a local hospital claiming to have amnesia."
The FBI opened its investigation this week.
Prosecutors argued Parish is a flight risk because of the amount of money involved in the case and should be held without bail. His attorney said Parish had remained in the area since the civil case began and would not flee.
A judge ordered Parish held without bail, The (Charleston) Post and Courier reported. If convicted, Parish faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Parish's attorney Andy Savage argued that his client had remained in the area since the civil case began and would not flee.
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.
The Baptist-affiliated school fired Parish last week and is now suing him.
Five investors have also sued the school, faulting the university because Parish was not properly registered with the SEC or the state to buy and sell securities for other people.
University attorney J. Rutledge Young Jr. did not immediately return a telephone message Thursday.