The investor who lost the most money in the Al Parish investment collapse is a doctor from Buffalo, N.Y.
The $30 million in savings that Dr. Kalpana Patel entrusted to him appears to be about half the total cash lost.
If the accounting is correct, the losses sustained by the 62-year-old allergist would dwarf the $8.4 million in cash turned over by Parish's bosses at Charleston Southern University seeking what the former professor advertised as explosive returns.
Early in the investigation, most thought the Baptist-aligned university where Parish once taught suffered the biggest loss among his nearly 600 investor clients. Now, CSU is running a distant second.
Patel was with patients and unavailable for comment Friday, said an assistant who answered her business phone. Her specialties include pediatrics, environmental medicine and chelation therapy, a treatment for heavy metal poisoning.
While attorneys and government officials involved in the case have declined to publicly confirm Patel is the single largest victim, her initials appear several times in court documents disclosing the foundation of the government's 10-count criminal fraud case against Parish.
Four of the charges of mail and wire fraud against Parish rest on 64 account statements mailed and faxed to Patel in Buffalo between September 2004 and March 2007.
While not confirming Patel's name, case receiver David Dantzler said Friday the loss to the largest investor is staggering, totaling about half of the nearly $57 million in losses identified so far.
"That's $30 million cold, hard cash," Dantzler said.
"In her mind, it's not a $30 million loss, but a $200 million loss," he said, referring to the amount that she believed was in her portfolio.
In court last week, Dantzler described the investor as a woman "on the cusp of retirement" from a lucrative career.
On the same day, during a hearing covering Parish's release on bail, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlie Bourne spoke in court of a single, unidentified investor who believed she had amassed hundreds of millions of dollars with Parish.
Now, "she has nothing," he said.
Parish, 49, was freed on a $1 million personal recognizance bond Thursday into the custody of his family in Hollywood after spending 49 days in the Charleston County jail.
He was arrested April 12 as federal authorities mounted a fraud investigation into his unregistered offerings of investment pools that dabbled in art, coins, pens and other collectibles.
On paper the investments reportedly were valued at about $500 million. But in reality, almost all of the investment money was spent on Parish's lavish lifestyle and cache of artwork and other hard assets.