Alex Murdoff, Descendants of A major legal family in Lowcountry, South Carolina, was charged Thursday in connection with an investigation into the millions of dollars that went missing from a Settlement relating to the death of your longtime homeowner, officials said.
Murdoff was arrested upon release from a drug rehabilitation facility in Orlando, Florida, where he was recovering after his claim that he was shot in the head on the side of the road In September, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, or SLED. His lawyers said he faces two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense and is expected to appear at a bond hearing in South Carolina on Friday.
“These investigations today are just one more step in the long process of justice for the many victims,” the agency’s head, Mark Keel, said in a statement. “As I have said before, we are committed to following the facts wherever they may take us and we will not stop until justice is served.”
The heirs of Gloria Satterfield, a family homeowner who died three years ago in what was initially described as an accidental fall, insisted they did not receive any proceeds from the $4.3 million settlement, He was said to have been secretly orchestrated by Murdog.
Satterfield’s adult sons, Michael “Tony” Satterfield and Brian Harriet, filed a lawsuit accusing Murdaugh and others of breach of fiduciary duty by failing to pay them. Exactly where the money went and whether others benefited isn’t clear, according to a previously undisclosed order shared by estate attorneys with NBC News and other media last month, but Satterfield & Harriet is expected to provide more than $2.7 million in life insurance proceeds. deserved to receive more.
The estate’s attorneys, Eric Bland and Ronald Richter, alleged that after paying legal fees related to the settlement, the remaining money went to a company called Forge, which Murdoff had “built”. A check was sent to a PO box set up by Murdog, and he “ended up with all the money,” he said.
Corey Fleming, the attorney representing the brothers at the time of the settlement, said this month that he and his law firm would pay the property the legal fees and expenses they collected and that his insurance carrier would pay its “full policy limit.” According to lawyers for the property.
According to the estate’s lawsuit, Satterfield was 57 when she died of injuries sustained from a fall at the home of Murdog, where she was an employee for more than two decades. Lawyers for the estate said Murdog had told others that the family dogs had caused him to trip and fall down stairs. Satterfield was in a coma for three weeks before she died.
Bland and Richter said Thursday’s arrest of Murdog was “bitter.”
“Families have been dealing with a betrayal of trust since early September and the death of their loved one was used as a vehicle to enrich others over clients,” the lawyers said in a statement.
Murdaugh’s lawyers said they did not see the details in the arrest warrant, but his client “intends to fully cooperate with this investigation.”
Murdoff’s arrest – his second arrest in two months – is the latest in a twisting saga that has raised questions about the family’s powerful connections.
From the outset, officials have assumed Murdog to be an interested person. The death of his wife, Margaret, and son Paul, One of his lawyers said in an interview on Wednesday that his client was not involved.
Murdoff’s actions on the June night that he fatally shot his wife and son at their rural property have been scrutinized as state investigators grapple with evidence open the web of criminal investigation – which includes the property of Satterfield – resulting from the double murder.
Law enforcement “has stated from the outset that Alex was a person of interest,” his attorney, Jim Griffin, Told WHNS to local Fox affiliate in Greenville.
State investigators have declined to comment on the details of the investigation and Murdog’s position in the investigation. Griffin did not immediately respond to a request for further comment on Thursday, but he suggested to WHNS that investigators had been unable to link his client to the killings.
“You would think that if Alex was the one who did it, SLED would be able to set up that night pretty easily,” Griffin said. “You’d think they searched his house and found blood somewhere. You’d think they’d find murder weapons on the property. You’d think they’d do something to link Alex to the murders, forensic or independent Evidence. And to my knowledge they have not done so.”
Murdoff, 53, who worked as a personal injury attorney, had an alibi on the night of the murders, Griffin said, and was spending time with her mother, who has dementia, and her caregiver.
At 10:07 p.m. in a 911 call placed by Murdog, he reported finding Margaret and Paul Murdog, who was unresponsive.
“My wife and child were fatally shot,” he said after finding their bodies near the dog kennel on the property.
After the shooting, and despite not releasing the names of suspects or persons of interest in the case or possible motives, state investigators said there was no danger to the public.
Murdoff’s legal legacy — and decades of deep ties throughout the Lowcountry — quickly shed a light on him. his father, Randolph Murdoff III; grandfather, Randolph “Buster” Murdoff Jr.; And great-grandfather, Randolph Murdoff Sr., was elected to the same office as the field’s top prosecutor, spanning nearly 90 years.
His personal life was exposed when his lawyers said he had hired a friend and former client, Curtis Edward Smith, to kill him over Labor Day weekend in order to have another son, Buster, out of a $10 million life insurance policy. be able to benefit. Murdoff’s lawyers said he was saddened by the deaths of his wife and son and that A. were growing from 20 Years of Drug Addiction to Opioids That’s when he decided he wanted to die.
Murdoff was charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report, and was released on a $20,000 personal identification bond. after changing myself.
Separately, Smith faces multiple charges related to insurance fraud and aiding in suicide, as well as drug-related charges for methamphetamine and marijuana, when officers said he had taken them to his home. found in.
Griffin denied that the plot was “an elaborate money scheme” but rather the action of a desperate man “who had lost his will to live.”
“If he was going to end his life, he was going to do it in a way that would benefit his son,” he said.
Griffin said Smith was standing about 5 feet away when he met Murdog on a rural road in Hampton County and fulfilled his request by firing a .38-caliber revolver at his head. Griffin also answered questions about why Murdog had no head injuries when he appeared in court last month, even though he insisted to police that Smith had shot him.
Griffin admitted he didn’t even see a bullet wound, but he awaits hospital records to verify Murdog’s injuries.
Murdoff’s account is one of several discrepancies that have made it difficult to tell what happened on the day of the shooting, although officers have offered their own version of events in their arrest warrants.
But Smith and his attorney, Johnny McCoy, are holding back. Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show, they dispute that Smith was a willing accomplice as well as claim that he was Murdoff’s drug dealer.
Smith, 61, has said Murdog had called him and asked to meet him on the side of the road with his work truck. When he got there, he saw that Murdog had a gun and appeared to be about to shoot himself, when Smith said he intervened. Pointed the gun. Once Smith realized Murdoff was fine, he said he left.
In his initial account shared by his lawyers after the shooting, Murdoff said he was investigating a flat tire when he was the victim of a random attack by a man in a blue truck.
McCoy said Murdoff’s changing stories make him unreliable, while Smith has stuck to what he says.
“You’re perpetuating the lie that Alex Murdaugh put out, and that’s exactly what he used to do,” McCoy said on “Today.” “He’s used to people listening to his word, and he’s used to people taking it and running with it. And that’s exactly what happened in this case.”
other missing funds
The funds in the Satterfield settlement are not the only finances under investigation.
Murdoff has been Accused by his former law firm Potentially to loose millions of dollars in pockets.
The firm — Peters, Murdoff, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, which was founded by Murdoff’s great-grandfather — filed a lawsuit this month claiming that Murdoch “presented false documents to the firm and customers that made them fraudulent.” Allowed to funnel the stolen funds into bank accounts.
Another Murdoff attorney, Richard “Dick” Harputlian, told “Today” that the “vast majority” of the funds were used to buy opioids and that “checks written to drug dealers”.
The state’s investigation into the allegations is ongoing. Murdoff’s lawyers said they regretted it as investigators continue to work on the original case and determine who killed his wife and son.
“He deeply regrets that his actions have distracted from efforts to solve his murders,” he said on Thursday.
Improvement (October 14, 2021, 2:58 PM ET): A previous version of this article was misquoted when a previously undisclosed order was shared with NBC News. This was last month, not this month.