Ex-lawyer Murdaugh, in jail for homicide, is charged with stealing from purchasers
Disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was sentenced in early March to life in jail after a conviction in a double-murder trial throughout his sentencing on the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina. He was discovered responsible on all counts. Photograph by Andrew J. Whitaker/The Publish and Courier by way of the Related Press.
A disbarred lawyer who’s serving a life sentence for the homicide of his spouse and one among his sons has been indicted on federal costs for allegedly stealing cash from purchasers and his housekeeper’s household.
Former South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh, 54, is charged with wire and financial institution fraud, conspiracy to commit these crimes and cash laundering, in line with a May 24 Department of Justice press release.
Murdaugh was a private harm lawyer in Hampton, South Carolina, with the regulation agency then referred to as Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, or PMPED in shortened kind. Among the many accusations are that Murdaugh:
- Redirected consumer cash to complement himself, partly by sending the cash to his accounts and by depositing insurance coverage proceeds meant for beneficiaries into his accounts.
- Conspired along with his banker, Russell Laffitte, whom he selected to function private consultant or conservator for private harm purchasers. Settlement checks have been made out to Lafitte’s financial institution, and Lafitte redirected the funds for Murdaugh’s profit. Lafitte, who earned greater than $350,000 in charges, is awaiting sentencing after his conviction on six federal costs in connection along with his position within the scheme.
- Murdaugh created a checking account within the identify of “Forge,” which is similar to the identify of a structured settlement firm. Murdaugh allegedly deposited stolen private harm settlements into the pretend account.
- After the loss of life of Murdaugh’s housekeeper in a fall at his residence, Murdaugh beneficial that her property rent a Beaufort, South Carolina, lawyer to file a declare in opposition to him. Murdaugh’s insurance coverage firms settled for $505,000 and $3.8 million. Murdaugh and the opposing lawyer allegedly conspired to defraud the housekeeper’s property by disguising a number of the settlement cash as bills and utilizing the cash for themselves. Murdaugh additionally instructed the opposing lawyer to put in writing a $3.48 million test from the settlement to “Forge.” The housekeeper’s property obtained nothing.
Murdaugh’s attorneys, Jim Griffin and Richard Harpootlian, gave this assertion to Reuters and Law360: “Alex has been cooperating with the USA lawyer’s workplace and federal companies of their investigation of a broad vary of actions. We anticipate that the costs introduced at this time will probably be rapidly resolved with out a trial.”
Hat tip to the Marshall Project.
ABAJournal.com: “Caretaker’s testimony hurts alibi of once-prominent lawyer Murdaugh, who’s charged with murdering spouse and son”
ABAJournal.com: “Cellphone video locations Murdaugh at homicide scene, says prosecutor in once-prominent lawyer’s trial”
ABAJournal.com: “Legislation agency staffers have been first to suspect once-prominent lawyer Murdaugh was stealing consumer cash, companion testifies”