On Friday, a South Carolina grand jury indicted Alex Murdaugh on 27 new counts for allegedly stealing a total of $4.8 million in five counties.
According to The Island Packet, the crimes involving Alex Murdaugh, 53, occurred between 2015 and May of this year. The lawyer is accused of stealing from his clients and his former law firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick (PMPED).
Murdaugh allegedly deposited the stolen money into his fraudulent bank that he labeled “Forge” — which authorities said he also used to make car and loan payments, and write checks to family members and associates.
According to The Island Packet, Murdaugh also tricked lawyers at other law firms into allowing checks that should have been deposited into his law firm’s account into his personal “Forge” account.
The indictment also details an alleged incident in which the disgraced lawyer forged a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper’s signature on a $120,000 personal injury check so he could gain control of the money.
The grand jury indicted Murdaugh with breach of trust with fraudulent intent, obtaining signature or property by false pretenses, money laundering, computer crimes, and forgery.
Murdaugh was arrested on October 14 at a rehabilitation center in Florida for obtaining property by false pretenses. In that case, he was accused of stealing $4.3 million from the estate of his late housekeeper — who died after falling on Murdaugh’s property in February 2018. The housekeeper’s estate included substantial payouts for a wrongful death settlement.
At the time of his arrest in Florida, Murdaugh was on bond for an alleged suicide-for-hire plot that left him shot in the head. On September 3, Murdaugh allegedly had ex-client Curtis Smith, 61, try to fatally shoot him so his surviving son would receive a $10 million life insurance payout. Alex Murdaugh reportedly suffered head injuries and called 911 for help.
A day before the shooting, Murdaugh was forced out of his family law firm amid allegations he misappropriated funds. He announced he was entering rehabilitation for drugs two days after the shooting.
Months before the alleged botched plot, on June 7, Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie and Paul, 52 and 22, were found fatally shot on their 1,770-acre lodge in Colleton County. No arrests have been made in connection with their slayings.
Last week, a circuit judge denied Murdaugh bond in the fraud case involving his late housekeeper. The judge expressed concerns with the results of Murdaugh’s psychiatric examination, which was not released to the public.
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[Featured image: Alex Murdaugh/Orange County Sheriff’s Office]