Attorney won't appeal
An attorney for convicted economist Al Parish says he has no grounds to appeal his 24-year prison sentence, dealing a setback to Parish's argument that his punishment was too severe.
In a filing Thursday to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., Assistant Federal Public Defender Mary Gordon Baker said she doesn't think Parish has a case.
"It is counsel's opinion there are no legal issues that were not properly raised or disposed of by the district court and there are no grounds for an appeal," she wrote.
The filing also included a letter to Parish at the federal prison in Butner, N.C., in which Baker said she found no meritorious grounds for an appeal but that he could continue the fight if he wished.
"You can raise your issues in a supplemental brief of your own," she told him.
Parish, a former economist at Charleston Southern University, was sentenced in June to spend 24 years in federal prison for an investment scheme in which nearly 600 investors were defrauded of $66 million in his unregistered offering of now failed investment pools.
His earlier defense team had said investor losses could end up being less than estimated when all the assets are recovered and sold — potentially affecting his sentencing exposure — and that he should have received a lesser sentence when compared with other white-collar fraud convictions.
Chief U.S. District Judge David Norton sentenced Parish within the federal guidelines applicable.
After the sentencing, Parish had no means of continuing to pay his own legal bills and was appointed a public defender.