After Being Accused of Misusing Funds, Alex Murdaugh Has His Law License Suspended
Days after Alex Murdaugh was shot in the head, his law firm accused him of malfeasance and cut ties with himOn Wednesday, five days after being accused of diverting funds from his law firm, Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick, the South Carolina Supreme Court placed Alex on an interim suspension, according to an order obtained by PEOPLE.
© Provided by Law & Crime Alex Murdaugh appears in an image obtained by NBC's
Alex Murdaugh appears in an image obtained by NBC’s “Today.”
Embattled and suspended South Carolina attorney Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh is expected to turn himself in to authorities on Thursday to face charges in connection with an alleged insurance fraud scheme, CNN and the New York Times are reporting. Murdaugh is planning to turn himself in by 2:00 p.m., Murdaugh’s lawyer Jim Griffin told CNN; court officials said a hearing was scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday.
Alleged accomplice Curtis Edward Smith, 61, of Colleton County, S.C., was arrested Tuesday. Authorities say Smith admitted to being present when Murdaugh was shot in the head — the wound was reportedly minor — and then admitted to disposing the gun Murdaugh allegedly provided for the attack. Murdaugh is said by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to have confessed to concocting a scheme whereby Smith would kill him; Murdaugh’s son would then have inherited a $10 million life insurance policy, Murdaugh allegedly told law enforcement.
Unsolved Murdaugh shootings yield misconduct claim, conflicting accounts — and more questions
On June 7, deputies in South Carolina discovered a grisly scene at one family's hunting lodge property: Paul and Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh were shot to death.A frantic 911 call had been placed by Alex Murdaugh, a personal injury attorney, at 10:07 p.m. His voice quivered as he told a dispatcher that his wife, Margaret, and son, Paul, were not breathing.
Smith is reportedly one of Murdaugh’s former clients.
© Provided by Law & Crime Curtis Edward Smith appears in a mugshot released by the Colleton County, S.C. Sheriff's Office.
Curtis Edward Smith appears in a mugshot released by the Colleton County, S.C. Sheriff’s Office.
SLED also announced on Wednesday evening that it was also reopening an investigation into the death of Gloria Satterfield, a Murdaugh family housekeeper who died on Feb. 26, 2018.
“Based upon a request from the Hampton County Coroner earlier today, as well as information gathered during the course of our other ongoing investigations involving Alex Murdaugh, SLED is opening a criminal investigation into the death of Gloria Satterfield and the handling of her estate,” a terse news release said. But attached was a letter request from Hampton County, S.C. Coroner Angela Topper, who said that a civil settlement indicated that Satterfield died “as a result of injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident, in Hampton County.”
Police Investigate Allegations That Alex Murdaugh Stole Funds from His Law Firm
The descendant of a prominent legal dynasty is accused of misappropriating fees from the law firm his great-grandfather started more than a century agoThe state's highest law enforcement agency opened the investigation "based upon allegations that he misappropriated funds in connection to his position as a former lawyer with the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick (PMPED) law firm in Hampton, South Carolina," it said in a statement.
“The defendant in this action was Richard A. [Alex] Murdaugh,” the coroner’s letter continued. “The decedent’s death was not reported to the Coroner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed. On the death certificate the manner of death was rule “Natural,” which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident.”
“In light of the inconsistencies noted above, I feel that it is prudent to pursue an investigation into Gloria Satterfield’s death.”
SLED believed the investigation should be criminal in nature, the news release reiterated.
Attorney Eric Bland, who is representing Satterfield’s estate, told CNN that none of the $500,000 owed to Satterfield’s estate has ever been paid. Additional litigation in the matter remains ongoing against Alex Murdaugh, a former attorney for the estate, and a local bank.
SLED also told local news organizations that it was reopening a probe into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, 19, who was reportedly associated with the Murdaugh family.
Alex Murdaugh, who is expected to turn himself in Thursday, is the subject of multiple investigations in South Carolina
Alex Murdaugh, the South Carolina lawyer whose wife and son were shot and killed in June, plans to voluntarily surrender to police Thursday on charges related to a subsequent insurance fraud scheme, his lawyer told CNN. © Family Friend Alex Murdaugh FILE According to court documents, Murdaugh arranged for a former client to kill him so that his surviving son could collect a life insurance payout of about $10 million. One of Murdaugh's lawyers, Jim Griffin, told CNN that they have been informed an arrest warrant has been issued for Murdaugh on charges of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
The alleged attempted killing of Alex Murdaugh and the reinvestigation of the Smith and Satterfield deaths comes months after two other Murdaugh family members were murdered.
© Provided by Law & Crime Maggie and Paul Murdaugh appear in images obtained by NBC's
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh appear in images obtained by NBC’s “Today.”
Alex’s wife Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and his son Paul, 22, were both found killed on Murdaugh family property in mid-June. Paul Murdaugh was facing criminal charges at the time of his death. He had been steering a boat owned by Alex Murdaugh when it crashed in February 2019 and killed Mallory Beach, 19.
Richard Harpootlian, another of Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys, told NBC News on Wednesday that his client sought to come clean about the plot to end his own life because he wanted law enforcement to spend its time and resources looking for whoever killed Paul and Maggie.
[Murdaugh family images via screengrabs from NBC’s “Today.” Mugshot of Smith via the Colleton County, S.C. Sheriff’s Office.]
The post Suspended S.C. Lawyer Alex Murdaugh Will Turn Himself in for Fraud Case; State Opens Criminal Probe into Housekeeper’s Death first appeared on Law & Crime.
Murdaugh family crime saga's roots run deep through these coastal towns. But no one wants to talk about it .
The store clerk asked, "Can I help you?" But it sounded more like, "What the hell are you doing here?"A "closed" sign still hung from the door of the boutique. Taped next to it was an image of the beaming Mallory Beach, who once worked here, selling and modeling chic clothing and jewelry. Alongside her photo read a quote: "Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope. He's gonna do great things, I already know," a twist on a lyric by the Christian band, Sidewalk Prophets.