Over the past four months, the lawyer in South Carolina Alex Murdaugh has become the focal point of an extensive saga focusing on a series of deaths. Murdaugh’s great-grandfather, grandfather, and father each worked as chief prosecutors at the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office in South Carolina, establishing a legal dynasty that spanned more than a century. But scion has now been criminally punished for the second time in recent months after state authorities on Thursday alleged that Murdaugh had stolen funds from a settlement intended for the two sons of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died in 2018.
Satterfield died after falling on the stairs of Murdaugh’s home, and as The New York Times reported Thursday, Murdaugh then linked his two sons, Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriott, with a lawyer who he said would help them – without mentioning, the sons in a lawsuit claimed that lawyer was his old colleague – roommate. The lawyers, Cory Fleming, arranged a $ 4.3 million settlement with Murdaugh and his insurance companies, but about $ 3 million of it allegedly ended up in Murdaugh’s own bank account after Murdaugh told Fleming to send him the money to start a fund for the sons, according to the lawsuit.
Murdaugh was charged with two counts of acquiring property by false allegations. He was arrested on a drug rehab drug in Orlando and is expected to appear at a bond hearing in South Carolina on Friday.
The new charges follow further allegations of insurance fraud and filing a false police report. In September, authorities claim, Murdaugh asked one of his cousins, Curtis Smith, to shoot and kill him on the side of the road so that his death could be judged as a murder and not a suicide. According to Times, Murdaugh has admitted the scheme, and his lawyers have said he was worried his older son would not be able to collect his $ 10 million life insurance if his death was settled as a suicide. After Murdaugh survived the shooting, Smith was charged with attempting to aid Murdaugh’s suicide and weapons counts, which he all denies. (Smith has said he did not pull the trigger and that the gun went off as he tried to stop Murdaugh from killing himself, per. Gange.)
The two sets of criminal charges represent just a tinge of the mysteries surrounding Murdaugh and his family that have gained national attention in recent months. In June, Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and another son, Paul, were both shot dead before Murdaugh found their bodies on the family property. The murders remain unsolved. Prior to his death, Paul was charged with drunkenly crashing a boat into a bridge, resulting in the death of Mallory Beach aboard the boat. Like that Gange noted, Murdaugh was asked to resign from his law firm last month after finding out he had allegedly stolen millions of dollars from the firm and clients. (A lawyer for Murdaugh confirmed to Gange in September that his client had left the company after being accused of misappropriating funds.)
“Alex intends to cooperate fully with this investigation, as he has done with the investigation into the murder of his wife and son,” his lawyers Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, told Gange after the news of the charges Thursday. “He deeply regrets that his actions have distracted from the efforts to solve their murders.”
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