Alex Murdaugh is accused of years of stealing from clients and business partners, in fresh lawsuit
Murdaugh’s former firm claims he funneled stolen money from clients and the law office into a fake bank account for years
The recently disbarred lawyer faces a lawsuit from his former firm, which is accusing him of stealing money from the company and its clients
PMPED allege Alex Murdaugh covertly stole company funds which he disguised as disbursements from settlements as payments to an annuity company, trust account or structured settlement for clients or as structured attorney’s fees that he had earned
In fact the stolen funds ‘were deposited into a fictious bank account’
‘He [Murdaugh], lied and he stole from us. No member of PMPED was aware of Alex’s scheme and when we learned he betrayed our trust, we requested his resignation immediately’
‘We have yet to speak to anyone who was aware of his addiction to opioids,’ PMPED stated in their lawsuit
The firm alleges of theft comes a month after Murdaugh resigned at the request of his firm who revealed that millions of dollars had vanished from its coffers
The firm’s lawsuit is seeking damages ‘for the costs of this action’ and is calling for Murdaugh to reveal where stashed the stolen funds
Last Friday, the sons of a housekeeper who died on Murdaugh’s property in 2018 claimed they never received any of the $4.3million settlement in her death
The suit alleges that Murdaugh had them use his friend as their attorney, without revealing the conflict of interest, and then tried to snatch the settlement away from them
South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh used fake bank accounts to siphon funds for years from his former firm and its clients, according to a new lawsuit filed against the disgraced and disbarred attorney by his ex-partners.
The firm of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick alleges in a court filing that Murdaugh ‘developed a systematic scheme in which he diverted funds owed to the firm and to clients to a fictitious entity.’
The firm’s suit is the latest in the twisted saga of the once prominent family that involves at least four mystery deaths, three of them unsolved murders, cases of alleged mega-scale fraud and substance addiction.
Add to that head-scratching cocktail, allegations of a botched suicide-by-hitman.
It comes a month after Murdaugh resigned at the request of his firm, which his great-grandfather founded in 1910, after millions of dollars were found to have jay-walked from its coffers.
The Murdaughs dynasty are one of South Carolina’s most prominent legal families, and through the generations served as top prosecutors in the state’s 14th Circuit for nearly a century.
However the firm at the foundation of that illustrious legacy filed the lawsuit, a month after Alex Murdaugh resigned at the request of the firm after millions of dollars were found to have gone missing from its coffers
The law firm filed a complaint Wednesday in Colleton County Court in South Carolina, which reads, ‘PMPED has determined that Alex Murdaugh was able to covertly steal these funds by disguising disbursements from settlements as payments to an annuity company, trust account or structured settlement for clients or as structured attorney’s fees that he had earned when in fact they were deposited into the fictious account at Bank of America.’
It continues to say that Murdaugh, ‘used firm assets in an unauthorized manner and without the consent or knowledge of his other shareholders to further his scheme to defraud.’
NEW: Alex Murdaugh, whose wife and son were murdered in June, is accused of scheming to funnel money from a housekeeper’s wrongful death lawsuit and allegedly stealing funds from his former law firm. @arobach https://t.co/yCIVExX3bw pic.twitter.com/0HURh31vM7— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 7, 2021
The firm’s lawsuit is seeking damages ‘for the costs of this action’ and is calling for Murdaugh to reveal where the stolen money went.
Murdaugh’s attorney, Jim Griffin, said in a statement: ‘This is a very sad development. Alex holds every member of the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick law firm in very high esteem. He has pledged his full cooperation to the firm.’
In a statement released on its website last month, PMPED addressed the controversy swirling around Murdaugh and wrote, ‘PMPED is a robust firm with skilled, experienced attorneys who represent our clients with a fierce commitment to obtaining justice. We were shocked and dismayed to learn that Alex violated our principles and code of ethics.’
‘He lied and he stole from us. No member of PMPED was aware of Alex’s scheme.
‘When we learned he betrayed our trust, we requested his resignation immediately. We have yet to speak to anyone who was aware of his addiction to opioids,’ the statement continued
Within a day of his ousting from the firm, Murdaugh was charged with insurance fraud and filing a false police report, stemming from a bizarre incident in which he claimed to be the victim of a roadside shooting.
His story quickly fell apart and he admitted that he himself had orchestrated the shooting, calling former client and distant cousin, Curtis ‘Eddie’ Smith, and asking him to shoot him in the head so that his surviving son, 25-year-old Richard ‘Buster’ Murdaugh, could claim his $10million life insurance.
Both Smith and Murdaugh have been charged in relation to the incident. Murdaugh’s lawyer said he is battling an opioid addiction that has ruined his finances.
Murdaugh’s currently ensnared in another legal battle over the mysterious death of a housekeeper who died on his property in 2018. Last Friday, the family of a housekeeper killed in a mysterious accident at Alex Murdaugh’s home have reached a deal with their original lawyer over a $4.3m settlement.
Gloria Satterfield, the Murdaughs’ long-time housekeeper and nanny, died in February 2018, aged 57, after tripping over the family dog at her employers’ hunting lodge.
Bland Richter announced that the Satterfield’s estate agreed to settle with attorney Cory Fleming, his law firm and his malpractice insurance company for an undisclosed sum.
Satterfield’s family were instructed by Alex Murdaugh to make a claim after Gloria’s death, and Murdaugh recommended Fleming. But he didn’t inform them that the lawyer was his former college roommate and son Paul’s godfather, the complainants claimed.
The deaths of gay teen Stephen Smith and housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, are now being probed for any connection as a possible motive in the double-homicide of the Murdaugh.
It was recently announced that Satterfield’s sons have reached a settlement with their original lawyer, who had allegedly failed to turn over a $4.3million life insurance payout to them.
Beaufort based defense attorney Cory Fleming popped up in the complicated Murdaugh family saga.
Fleming, a partner at the Beaufort-based Moss, Kuhn & Fleming law firm, was accused in a lawsuit of working with Alex Murdaugh to divert millions of dollars from a wrongful death settlement to Murdaugh.
Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, 57, died after tripping over the Murdaugh family’s dog at the family’s hunting lodge in South Carolina in February 2018.
Despite a $4.3 million settlement being agreed with an insurance company, the Satterfields say they were not made aware of that payout, and never saw a penny of that cash. It is said to have been paid into a business account controlled by Alex Murdaugh.
A separate settlement of $505,000 was agreed privately between Murdaugh and Satterfield’s family through Fleming, it is claimed, although the dead woman’s family assert that they never received any of that cash either.
Satterfield’s two sons alleged in a lawsuit filed last month that Murdaugh had convinced them to use Fleming as their attorney without revealing that he was a longtime friend of his, and then tried to snatch a $4.3million settlement away from them.
The lawsuit, filed on September 15, claimed breach of fiduciary duty and civil conspiracy.
According to a statement from Bland Richter to ABC News 4, Fleming and his firm agreed to pay Satterfield’s estate back all legal fees and expenses associated with the settlement that the lawyer had recovered, and which should have been paid to late housekeeper’s children but reportedly was, in fact, paid into a business account controlled entirely by Murdaugh.
The insurance carrier for Fleming and his law firm also agreed to pay to Satterfield’s estate their full policy limits of insurance. The lawsuit however, accused Murdaugh of failing to disclose his personal and professional ties to Fleming after Murdaugh allegedly recommended the attorney to one of the survivors of the 2019 boat crash that killed Mallory Beach
The lawsuit further alleges that Fleming’s services were used to prevent Murdaugh’s son, Paul, from being implicated in the crash. While attempting to convince a friend of his son to use Fleming, again Murdaugh allegedly did not reveal their friendship, as investigators tried to sort out who was driving a boat in a 2019 fatal crash, according to the lawsuit. Paul Murdaugh would eventually be charged.
The 22-year-old was killed along with his mother, Maggie, in an unsolved shooting at the family’s home in June.