Suspended South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was indicted on 27 charges of embezzlement and other crimes, a prosecutor said on Friday, on top of previous charges of insurance fraud in a conspiracy to arrange his own death.
A state grand jury indicted Murdaugh on counts stemming from schemes to defraud law clients and associates and launder more than $4.8 million dollars, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a statement.
Murdaugh, 53, scion of a South Carolina legal dynasty whose wife and son were murdered in June, remains in custody at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia, South Carolina. He was suspended from practicing law in September.
The new indictments charge him with crimes including breach of trust, fraudulent intent, money laundering, computer crimes, and forgery, Wilson said. Murdaugh’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Murdaugh was accused of embezzling settlement funds related to his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died in 2018 after a “trip and fall” accident in the Murdaugh home, according to court records.
Satterfield’s heirs have claimed in a South Carolina probate court that Murdaugh diverted more than $3.5 million in death settlement money to a fraudulent account, according to local reports.
Murdaugh also was accused of arranging to have himself shot on Sept. 4 so his son, Buster Murdaugh, could collect an insurance payout.
Murdaugh’s lawyer previously said the elder Murdaugh, who was wounded and survived, arranged the shooting because of depression following the shooting deaths of his wife and another son, Paul.
Satterfield family lawyers cheered the new indictments as a move toward justice.
By Barbara Goldberg