More indictments may be forthcoming in the fraud investigations against disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh — and some of those indictments are likely to include alleged co-conspirators.
That’s on top of new civil lawsuits expected to be filed shortly, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Murdaugh is in jail with a $7 million bond, charged with 48 counts related to an alleged scheme to defraud clients and his former law firm — PMPED, founded by Murdaugh’s great-grandfather — of millions of dollars, as well as three other counts related to a botched “suicide for hire” scheme when the other scams began to unravel.
Multiple sources told FITSNews that the schemes being uncovered by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and state Attorney General Alan Wilson have involved Murdaugh’s longtime friend and fellow attorney Cory Fleming as well as Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte and Vice President Chad Westendorf.
FITSNews said that Laffitte and Westendorf have both served as paid representatives of plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits with links to Murdaugh and Fleming, but so far, only Murdaugh has been charged with any crimes.
Fleming and Westendorf were involved in the wrongful death suit filed against Murdaugh after his long-time housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, died in a “trip and fall” accident at the Murdaugh estate. Satterfield’s sons alleged that Murdaugh persuaded them to sue him, using Fleming as their attorney, and convinced them to replace Tony Satterfield with Westendorf as the personal representative in the case.
With that change, Fleming no longer needed to inform Satterfield about the case, and the sons received no settlement and didn’t learn that Murdaugh’s insurance had paid out $4.3 million. Murdaugh and Fleming allegedly split the attorney fees, and Murdaugh put the rest into a fake bank account.
The South Carolina Supreme Court suspended both Fleming and Murdaugh’s law licenses in September. Fleming admitted “material mistakes” in his work on the Satterfield settlement but insisted that Murdaugh deceived him, while Murdaugh said during a bond hearing last month that Fleming “knew nothing” of his scheme.
Earlier Wednesday, FITSNews reported that sources had told it that investigators had found direct evidence linking Murdaugh to the June murders of his wife and 22-year-old son, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, who were shot to death at the family’s Moselle estate. SLED declined to comment on the report.
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[Featured image: Alex Murdaugh/Hampton County Jail]