Hedge Fund Inquiry Triggers Amnesia Attack

April 6, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged an economics professor and two entities controlled by him with fraudulently operating five investment funds.

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.”  

Dizzy Spell

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.