The South Carolina State Grand Jury issued new charges against the disgraced former attorney Alex Murdaughabout a month after he pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the killings of his wife and son.
Murdaugh was charged with four counts of obtaining signature or property by false pretense worth $10,000 or more; two counts of money laundering with a value of $20,000 – $100,000; one count of money laundering with a value of $100,000 or more; and two counts of computer crime with a value of more than $10,000, according to a Friday news release from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
CNN reached out to Murdaugh’s attorney, Richard Harpootlian, for comment. A Harpootlian press representative told CNN in an email, “No comment at this time.”
The latest indictments allege Murdaugh stole from his former law firm and brother.
According to an indictment, it was common practice for certain partners of the PMPED law firm (Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick) to loan the firm money at the beginning of each year to cover certain expenses until the firm had generated revenue sufficient and could be paid back with interest, but Murdaugh did not usually make such loans.
The company’s accounting office “mistakenly wrote a loan repayment check to Murdaugh for $121,358.63” that should have gone to Murdaugh’s brother, who had made a loan, according to the indictment. But Murdaugh went to the accounting office and “although the misrepresentations caused the office to cut another check for the same amount . . . (and) he then deposited this replacement loan repayment check in the his account and converted the funds to his personal use.”
Murdaugh conducted financial transactions “with property he knew to be the proceeds of an illegal activity or to be derived directly or indirectly from the proceeds of an illegal activity,” another charge says.
Another indictment alleges that Murdaugh created a bank account “for the purpose of misappropriating funds belonging to others under the illusion that the money was being paid to (a) legitimate settlement planning company “.
He then arranged for a check for $91,867.50, representing legal fees for the law firm in one case, to be deposited from the client’s trust account into the bank account he had set up and controlled, according to the indictment . He then used that money “for his personal use, for expenses including, but not limited to, credit card payments, transfers to family members, overdraft charges and checks written to associates,” he alleged accusation
A total of 90 charges for schemes to defraud
Murdaugh resigned from the law firm in September 2021 following “PMPED’s discovery that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED standards and policies,” the company said in a statement. That same month, the state Supreme Court issued an order suspending his license to practice law in South Carolina.
In October, the The law firm sued Murdaugh to recover funds alleged that he stole from customers for his own personal use, saying Murdaugh “developed a systematic scheme in which he diverted funds owed to the company and customers to a fictitious entity” over many years.
“In total, through 18 indictments containing 90 counts against Murdaugh, the State Grand Jury has charged Murdaugh with schemes to defraud victims of $8,789,447.77,” the state attorney general said .
Murdaugh he was also indicted in July with two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection with the murder of his wife and child.
Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and her son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found shot to death on the family’s property in Islandton, about an hour north of Hilton Head Island, on June 7, 2021 . Alex Murdaugh made the 911 call. , saying he had just returned home and discovered their bodies.
Murdaugh wants the trial to begin quickly, his attorney previously said, because he believes “the killer or killers of his wife and son are still at large.”
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