The SEC announced today that it filed a complaint seeking emergency relief in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina against a Albert E. Parish, Jr. and Parish Economics LLC. The SEC said that Parish provided false statements to his 300 investors indicating the five funds were trading profitably, when “in fact, brokerage accounts represented to hold millions of dollars of assets for the funds do not hold significant funds.”
The SEC said after it attempted to contact Parish, 49, an economics professor at Charleston Southern University known for his flamboyant suits and $1.2 million pen collection, according to the AP, “he checked into a local hospital claiming to have amnesia.”
Parish reported dizzy spells and blurred vision while teaching March 29 and was taken to Trident Medical Center, The (Charleston) Post and Courier reported. Five days later, the SEC filed its lawsuit.
Southern also filed suit Thursday, claiming it lost $10 million it invested through companies Parish controlled, according to the State. The small Baptist-affiliated university signed agreements with Parish starting in 2002 – to let Parish invest money in hedge funds with expected yields of 9% or more each year, according to the report. Parish joined Charleston Southern in 1990 as a professor of economics and director of the Center for Economic Forecasting, positions he continues to hold.
The SEC alleged that the defendants provided statements to investors and placed information on the Parish eonomics Web site representing that the funds had been trading profitably and that the funds collectively held $134 million in assets.
The pools allowed investors to put money in commodities and securities futures products, bonds, stocks and hard assets such as expensive watches, jewelry and fine art. The fifth fund was Summerville Hard Assets LLC, which purported to invest in various hard assets such as jewelry and collectibles.
The Court subsequently entered an order freezing the defendants’ assets, appointing a receiver for the defendants, imposing a temporary restraining order against the defendants enjoining future violations of the antifraud provision of the federal securities laws, and providing other relief.