Alex Murdaugh is hit with a 22-count federal fraud charge
Alex Murdaugh is indicted on 22 counts of fraud over a $4 million scheme to steal his housekeeper’s life insurance policy and embezzling his family law firm for 16 years: killer risks 480 YEARS in prison and $13 million fine
Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh has been charged in a sweeping federal indictment alleging he siphoned $3.4 million from his late housekeeper’s insurance plan and defrauded his partners and other clients over 16 years.
The 22-count indictment unsealed Wednesday outlines three separate schemes the disgraced South Carolina attorney allegedly used to steal money and property from his personal injury clients.
If convicted on all 22 counts in the new indictment, Murdaugh could face a total of up to 480 years in prison and fines of up to nearly $13 million.
“Trust in our justice system begins with trust in its attorneys,” U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs said in a statement.
“South Carolinians turn to lawyers when they are most vulnerable, and in our state those who abuse public trust and enrich themselves through fraud, theft and self-dealing will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said. added.
Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh has been charged in a sweeping federal indictment outlining three separate schemes the disgraced South Carolina attorney allegedly used to steal money and property from his personal injury clients
Murdaugh, 54, was convicted of murdering his own wife and son in March and was serving two life sentences at South Carolina State Penitentiary.
Prosecutors said he stole millions of dollars from clients and partners, and that he was teetering on the brink of financial disaster, which led to his fatally shooting his 22-year-old son, Paul, and 52-year-old wife, Maggie, at their Colleton County home .
The new indictment details three financial fraud schemes, including one to siphon off an insurance scheme in the wake of the death of Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.
Satterfield died in February 2018 after appearing to have fallen on the steps of the Murdaugh family home.
The indictment, echoing allegations from earlier civil suits, says Murdaugh conspired with Cory Fleming, a personal injury attorney in Beaufort, and encouraged Satterfield’s family to sue him for an insurance payment with Fleming as their attorney.
Murdaugh’s insurance companies settled the estate claim for $505,000 and $3,800,000, but the suit alleges that Murdaugh and Fleming conspired to siphon settlement funds for their own personal enrichment.
Prosecutors named banker Russell Laffitte (left) and Murdaugh’s college friend and ex-barred attorney Cory Fleming (right) as co-conspirators in the alleged fraud schemes
Prosecutors say Murdaugh ordered the Beaufort attorney to draft checks totaling $3,483,431.95, payable to a bogus account he set up under the name “Forge.”
Fleming, Murdaugh’s former law school classmate, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, according to court records filed Wednesday.
From 2011 to 2021, Murdaugh earned about $16 million as an attorney while stealing about $9 million from his law firm, settlement money for clients and other places, according to previous indictments.
Murdaugh faces the following charges in the new indictment:
- One count of conspiracy to commit banking fraud and bank fraud, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000
- One count of bank fraud, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000
- Two counts of wire fraud, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000
- Three counts of wire fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000
- One count of conspiracy to commit fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000
- Fourteen counts of money laundering, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000
Developing story, more to follow.