Economics Professor Claims Amnesia in Disappearance of $134M

A Charleston Southern University economics professor is in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission after nearly $134 million in investments disappeared.

Al Parish, the self-proclaimed "Economan" of Charleston, S.C., claims amnesia in the case of the missing money and has checked himself into a hospital, Inside Higher Ed reports.

The SEC alleges that Parish had sold interest in five investment funds since 1986 and provided false reporting of the funds' financial results. Four of the funds were "informal pools of money" while the fifth focused on "hard assets" such as jewelry and art, Inside Higher Ed reports.

Among Parish's investors is his former employer, Charleston Southern University, which invested some $10 million of its estimated $13 million to $18 million endowment with the professor, renown in the local media for his quick sound bites on investing.

“We all just can’t believe it,” Johnny E. Ward, the board chair of the 3,000-student university, told Inside Higher Ed. “It’s just terrible. We’re completely at a loss for words. We just had all the confidence in the man — everyone used him all the time for his economic forecasts. It’s just unbelievable.”

The university has fired Parish and is suing for the funds, but it "doesn't look good," Ward told Inside Higher Ed.

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