Former HomeGold executive appeals conviction

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A former executive involved in 1 of the biggest bankruptcies in South Carolina history is appealing his conviction for securities fraud before the state Supreme Court.

Attorneys for Jack Sterling, the former HomeGold Financial Inc. chairman, say the state failed to prove its case. They say a judge shouldn't have allowed heartbreaking testimony during his 2009 trial from investors who lost nearly everything.

Sterling's case goes before the justices Tuesday.

The 73-year-old executive was convicted of securities fraud and sentenced to five years in prison, but was allowed to remain free on $100,000 bond during his appeal.

Sterling was 1 of 6 executives who were convicted by a jury or pleaded guilty after HomeGold subsidiary Carolina Investors went bankrupt in 2003, leaving 8,000 investors with combined losses of $275 million.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.