- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina parole officials are again rejecting an early release request from a former executive of bankrupt financial firm HomeGold.

A panel on Wednesday rejected Ronnie Sheppard’s fifth and final bid for parole. He’s expected to be released late next year.

Attorneys argued the 56-year-old Sheppard needs medical care outside of prison due to heart issues.

Sheppard has served more than eight years of a 20-year sentence for securities fraud, conspiracy and other crimes after the 2003 collapse of HomeGold and its subsidiary Carolina Investors. More than 8,000 investors lost $275 million in one of the biggest bankruptcies in state history after struggling HomeGold pulled money from its recently purchased Carolina Investors unit to stay afloat.

Five other executives pleaded guilty or were convicted. All have been released.

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