Charleston, S.C. — Al Parish has exchanged his loud sports coats for gray prison scrubs and handcuffs. His purple Jaguar with the leopard-skin paint job went up for grabs on eBay.

His Red Skelton paintings and million-dollar pen collection will likely be sold.

The flamboyant Parish taught economics at Charleston Southern University, routinely spoke at chamber of commerce meetings and was a go-to expert for news outfits seeking comments on South Carolina's economy.

He had almost 600 investors in funds he managed and a Web site that depicted him in a superhero costume, a large "E" for "Economan" emblazoned on his chest.

His fall from grace was as sensational as the life he used to lead.

The 49-year-old Parish is accused of defrauding his clients of $50 million — duping them into believing his funds were trading profitably. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 10 federal mail and wire fraud counts and one count of making false statements to Securities and Exchange Commission officials.

When federal investigators revealed they were looking into his investments in April, Parish was in a hospital, claiming he was suffering from amnesia.

He is now in the Charleston County Detention Center. His lawyer says the memory loss won't be part of his defense — that his client is recovering and has cooperated with investigators.

While a judge ordered Parish held in jail because of worries he might flee, defense lawyer Andy Savage will be back in court tomorrow, asking a federal magistrate to free his client.

"If you research all the major white-collar crime cases from Enron to Adelphia — all those large volume-dollar cases, everyone was released prior to trial," Savage said.

Officials have been unraveling details of Parish's spending in a scramble to find his assets. But they say it is too early to tell how much they might be able to recover for the investors.

Authorities also say Parish was not registered with the state or with the SEC to deal in securities, and that he promised investors returns well beyond Wall Street's wildest dreams.

Some of those investors include an elderly Charleston couple that invested $35,000 — money that was to be used for the man's Alzheimer's care. A Florida man invested money hoping to pay for care for his special needs son. A widow invested her retirement money; a young financial consultant risked the $10,000 he saved since graduating from college several years ago.

But perhaps the biggest potential loser is Charleston Southern, which invested $10.6 million in school scholarship money with Parish.

Charleston Southern President Jairy Hunter said the Baptist-affiliated college of about 3,000 students might suspend hiring and some building projects but does not plan to cut scholarships or jobs — except for Parish's.

He was fired after the scandal broke.

On the Web

Parish Economics: