COLUMBIA — A bond listening to for disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been rescheduled to incorporate all the state grand jury expenses handed up in opposition to him, together with accusations he stole over $6 million from shoppers in alleged monetary schemes.
The listening to can be at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 13 within the digital courtroom of Choose Alison Lee of Columbia, in keeping with S.C. Legal professional Normal Alan Wilson’s workplace.
The listening to was rescheduled after a state grand jury on Dec. 9 slammed Murdaugh with seven new indictments containing 21 expenses of fraud, pc crimes, cash laundering and forgery. These introduced the full variety of grand jury indictments in opposition to the suspended lawyer to a fair dozen, with 48 separate expenses.
The array of legal expenses and civil lawsuits allege that over the previous half-decade, Murdaugh, 53, used a fraudulent checking account to steal cash from shoppers and former regulation companions.
His authorized workforce has insisted Murdaugh siphoned off cash to assist a decadeslong opioid behavior, however some authorized observers have grown skeptical as the quantity of lacking cash has steadily grown.
In keeping with a lawsuit filed by his former regulation agency, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, it started wanting into Murdaugh’s monetary dealings after discovering a suspicious examine on his desk in early September. The agency’s evaluate discovered “quite a few checks” that despatched settlement cash from his instances to a checking account named “Forge.”
Murdaugh had opened the account in 2015 and disguised it to look as if it belonged to Forge Consulting, an Atlanta-based monetary agency that legal professionals usually rent to deal with settlements for his or her shoppers. Murdaugh had even written checks from PMPED accounts to the fraudulent checking account, the agency discovered.
Murdaugh admitted to stealing agency and consumer cash when his regulation companions confronted him in regards to the checks on Sept. 3, the agency mentioned. The agency notified regulation enforcement on Sept. four and contacted Disciplinary Counsel on Sept. 6. The state Supreme Courtroom suspended Murdaugh’s license two days later whereas Disciplinary Counsel investigated.
Murdaugh’s life started spiraling uncontrolled after his spouse, Maggie, and son, Paul, had been discovered shot to demise exterior the household’s looking lodge on June 7. Nobody has been arrested within the double murder, although Murdaugh stays a “individual of curiosity” within the state’s ongoing investigation.
He was arrested in September on insurance coverage fraud expenses after confessing he enlisted Curtis Edward Smith, a hitman, to shoot him within the head so he might go away behind a $10 million life insurance coverage payout for his remaining son, Buster. Murdaugh survived the incident after which checked himself into rehab after admitting to a 20-year opioid habit.
A month later he was once more arrested on expenses he secretly stole $3.four million from a pair of wrongful demise settlements that had been owed to the sons of Gloria Satterfield, the Murdaugh household’s longtime housekeeper and nanny who died after falling at work.
Smith was lately named a defendant within the ongoing lawsuit as a result of he might have obtained a few of the settlement cash, attorneys Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter, who signify Satterfield’s property, mentioned in a Dec. 9 information launch.
Richter has beforehand mentioned he and Bland consider Smith obtained greater than 270 private and cashier’s checks, totaling roughly $2 million, from Murdaugh.
Choose Lee will preside over Murdaugh’s renewed shot at bail on Dec. 13.
Murdaugh has spent the previous eight weeks inside a Richland County jail after a fellow circuit choose, Clifton Newman of Kingstree, twice denied him bail since his second arrest in mid-October. Newman mentioned he considers Murdaugh a hazard to himself and the general public, given the suspended lawyer’s admitted opioid habit and former assisted suicide try.
Name Jocelyn Grzeszczak at 843-323-9175. Comply with her on Twitter at @jocgrz.