Feds seek 30 years for Parish; sentencing set for June 26

Al Parish leaves general sessions court in Charleston Monday, April 28, after pleading guilty to a state security fraud charge.

The sentencing date for failed economist Al Parish has been set for June 26 at the U.S. District Courthouse in Charleston.

The announcement came today from Chief Judge David C. Norton, who has handled the Parish case from the start.

Meanwhile, Parish defense attorney Andy Savage told the Associated Press that federal prosecutors are seeking a minimum 30 years in prison for his client.

The maximum Parish could receive for the federal counts is 45 years. Savage told the AP on Tuesday he has filed objections to the 30-year recommendation and will ask the judge for a lower sentence.

Parish, a former economist and professor at Charleston Southern University, in October pleaded guilty in a massive case of investor fraud involving up to 500 people who gave him millions of dollars. They were lured by promises of stellar returns only to see their money pay for his extravagance, authorities have said of his Ponzi-like scheme.

Cash accounts that showed huge holdings and market-beating returns later were "proven to be fictitious," Special Agent Frank Worrell said earlier.

Under the October plea deal, the number of criminal fraud charges against Parish went from 11 to three. Estimates are that he will receive up to 20 years behind bars.

Part of the delay in setting a sentencing date has been attributed to determining the true amount of investor losses.

See Wednesday's Post and Courier for more details.