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The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced that judge David C. Norton of the US District Court for the District of South Carolina entered an order settling charges alleging that Albert E. Parish and Parish Economics, of Charleston, South Carolina, lied to customers and misappropriated millions of dollars in customer funds.

According to the order, between 1986 and March 2007, Parish and Parish Economics fraudulently solicited approximately USD40m in investments for their commodity futures pool.

Parish and Parish Economics misrepresented to pool participants that funds would be invested in commodity futures when, in reality, Parish misappropriated the vast majority of funds for his personal use.

Parish and Parish Economics also provided false futures account statements to pool participants and failed to provide required pool disclosure documents.

The order permanently bars Parish and Parish Economics from further violating certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and the CFTC's regulations and from engaging in any commodity-related activity.

Parish is currently serving a sentence of more than 24 years in federal prison for related criminal offences. In lieu of an award of restitution and civil monetary penalties, the order recognises that Parish will be subject to a criminal judgment restitution obligation exceeding USD40m.

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