Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh faces new financial charges
CNN has reached out to Murdaugh’s attorney, Richard Harpootlian, for comment. A press representative for Harpootlian told CNN in an email, “No comment at this time.”
The latest indictments allege Murdaugh robbed his former law firm and his brother.
According to an indictment, it was common for certain partners at the PMPED law firm (Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick) to loan money to the firm at the beginning of each year to cover certain expenses up to that the firm generated sufficient income and they could be repaid with interest, but Murdaugh generally did not make these loans.
The company’s accounting office “erroneously issued a repayment loan 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 misrepresentations caused the office to cut another check for the same amount… (and) then deposited that replacement loan repayment check into his account and converted the funds for his personal use”.
Murdaugh engaged in financial transactions “with property he knew to be the proceeds of or derived directly or indirectly from the proceeds of unlawful activity,” another charge states.
Another indictment alleges that Murdaugh created a bank account “for the purpose of misappropriating funds belonging to others under the delusion that the money was going to (a) legitimate settlement planning company.”
He then ensured that a check for $91,867.50, which represented legal fees to the law firm in one case, was disbursed from the client’s trust account to the bank account he had created 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 fees, and checks written to business associates. “, according to the indictment.
A total of 90 counts for fraud schemes
“In total, through 18 indictments containing 90 counts against Murdaugh, the state grand jury has indicted Murdaugh for schemes to defraud victims of $8,789,447.77,” said the state attorney general.
Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and their son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found shot dead on the family 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 lawyer said, because he believes “the killer(s) of his wife and son are still at large”.