South Carolina authorized scion Alex Murdaugh faces prison prices—once more.
The 53-year-old lawyer already accused of orchestrating his personal homicide for an insurance coverage payout has been criminally charged in reference to hundreds of thousands of “misappropriated settlement funds” within the loss of life of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, authorities introduced Thursday.
He was taken into custody Thursday morning and charged with two counts of acquiring property by false pretenses after being launched from his drug facility in Orlando, Florida. His attorneys confirmed to The Every day Beast that Murdaugh will seem in courtroom at a bond listening to on Friday.
“At this time is merely another step in a protracted course of for justice for the numerous victims in these investigations. I need to commend the laborious work and dedication that our brokers have proven during the last 4 months,” South Carolina Regulation Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel stated in an announcement saying the fees. “They are going to proceed to work tirelessly on behalf of those that had been victimized by Alex Murdaugh and others. As I’ve stated beforehand, we’re dedicated to following the details wherever they could lead us and we won’t cease till justice is served.”
Eric Bland, the legal professional for the housekeeper’s two sons, stated in an announcement to The Every day Beast that the information of Murdaugh’s arrest marked “a bittersweet day” for his purchasers.
“Avarice and betrayal of belief are on the coronary heart of this matter. Lawsuits and claims are usually not autos for attorneys, defendants and/or buddies to complement themselves on the expense of their purchasers,” Bland added.
Murdaugh’s attorneys, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, stated he’s cooperating with the Satterfield probe, in addition to the investigation into his spouse and son’s June homicide. On Wednesday, Griffin admitted that Murdaugh has been a person of interest in that case “from the get-go.”
“He deeply regrets that his actions have distracted from the efforts to unravel their murders,” the attorneys stated Thursday.
The costs mark the most recent in a twisted authorized saga surrounding the as soon as highly effective authorized dynasty. Within the final month, Murdaugh has been ousted from his law firm after allegedly funneling millions into a fake bank account, been identified as a person of interest in the murders of his spouse and son, and admitted to a decades-long habit to opioids.
Murdaugh has additionally fessed as much as the stunning staging of his personal homicide in an try to depart a $10 million life insurance coverage payout to his remaining son, Buster, after initially telling police he was attacked by a stranger.
The flowery scheme got here simply three months after Murdaugh’s spouse, Maggie, and son Paul had been discovered murdered exterior their Hampton County property. On the time, Paul was going through prices for a 2019 boat crash that killed a teenage lady.
The previous high-powered lawyer additionally has been implicated in a sequence of lawsuits, starting from allegations he conspired to influence the 2019 investigation to claims he swindled hundreds of thousands from Satterfield’s wrongful loss of life lawsuit meant for her sons.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Satterfield’s sons alleges that after the housekeeper died on Murdaugh property in 2018, her property was purported to obtain not less than $4.3 million as a part of a settlement from the scion’s insurance coverage firm. However, Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriot have but to obtain a dime of the court-approved 2019 settlement cash, which Murdaugh has been accused of diverting to a pretend checking account.
“Since early September the households are coping with the betrayal of belief and that their beloved one’s loss of life was used as a car to complement others over the purchasers,” Bland stated Thursday. “Nonetheless, the households and attorneys want to thank the general public for the continued assist and help it has given to unravel these ugly crimes. It’s not over. An excellent begin to holding everybody accountable who both participated knowingly or breached their duties. The underside line is nobody is above the legislation.”
Satterfield’s sons additionally allege that Murdaugh inspired them to make use of Cory Fleming as their lawyer—with out disclosing that the legal professional was his school roommate and finest good friend. Fleming has since been suspended from practicing law pending an investigation into his involvement within the Satterfield settlement, and has admitted he made “materials errors” whereas representing the housekeeper’s sons.
“When it got here time to disburse the settlement funds, Mr. Fleming trusted his shut good friend and colleague to cope with him honestly and honorably, solely to be misled and deceived in one of many worst doable methods for a lawyer: Alex Murdaugh lied to Mr. Fleming to steal consumer funds,” Fleming stated in an announcement final week.
The South Carolina Regulation Enforcement Division (SLED) announced last month it was investigating Satterfield’s death, which was initially described in a wrongful loss of life settlement as a “journey and fall accident.” The investigation got here on the request of Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper, who stated there have been “inconsistencies” surrounding Satterfield’s loss of life—together with that no post-mortem was ever carried out.