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The federal public defender for South Carolina will handle the court appeal of Al Parish, the former college professor convicted of bilking hundreds of investors out of $66 million.

Parish, an economist who once taught at Charleston Southern, filed a financial affidavit last week seeking help in appealing his federal 24-year prison sentence.

An order filed Tuesday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., assigns the Parish criminal appeal to the public defender.

Parish pleaded guilty last year to two criminal counts of fraud and one count of lying to investigators. Sentenced June 26 and now serving time in a federal prison in North Carolina, Parish has filed a notice of appeal with the 4th Circuit.

While he was also ordered to repay $66 million that investors lost, a judgment in a companion civil suit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission and filed in federal court last week indicates only a portion of the money went for his personal use.

Parish personally benefited from only $7.7 million, said Alex Rue, the senior trial counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission office in Atlanta.

The court order requires him to repay that money, along with prejudgment interest, for a total of $8.3 million.

The judgment is in addition to the $66 million Parish was ordered to repay in the criminal case, said David Dantzler, the attorney helping tally Parish's assets. He said that, when everything is counted, investors will likely only recover a dime on the dollar.

Attorney Andy Savage, who represented Parish during the district court proceedings, said the $7.7 million is important.


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