(USNewsMag.com) – On Sept. 21, convicted murderer and disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, 55, pleaded guilty in federal court to 22 counts of money laundering and financial fraud.
After the hearing, his attorney, Dick Harpootlian, stated that Murdaugh had been “cooperative and apologized to the victims of his theft.”
A federal grand jury returned a 22-count indictment against Murdaugh, accusing him of committing wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering, as well as conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. From 2005 to 2021, while he worked as a personal injury attorney at his law firm in Hampton, South Carolina, he used three different schemes to obtain money as well as property from his clients, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges that after his former housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died in a fall at his home in February, Murdaugh and another personal injury attorney conspired to defraud Satterfield’s estate, funneling almost $3.5 million to a fake account “for his own personal enrichment.” Murdaugh also allegedly conspired with banker Russell Laffitte to commit bank and wire fraud. In November 2022, Laffitte was convicted in connection with the scheme on six federal charges.
Murdaugh pleading guilty to the charges means prosecutors will request that any federal sentence run at the same time as any sentence he receives from the state court. In exchange, Murdaugh must be “fully truthful and forthright” with those investigating the crimes about “all criminal activities” that he knows about. In state court, Murdaugh will face around 100 different charges when he goes to court on Nov. 27.
Currently, Murdaugh is serving consecutive life sentences in a South Carolina prison after being convicted in March for the murders of his wife Maggie and Paul, his youngest son. Since their deaths in June 2021, Murdaugh has denied he had any role in their killings, insisting during his two days of testimony that he was innocent.
In early September, a motion for a new trial in the case was filed by his attorneys, alleging the jury had been tampered with by a court clerk.
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