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Alex Murdaugh, Friend Face New Charges In Alleged Conspiracy To Defraud Housekeeper's Family

A grand jury indicted Alex Murdaugh and fellow attorney Cory Fleming on charges stemming from an alleged scheme to defraud the family of Gloria Satterfield out of millions after her 2018 death.

By Jill Sederstrom
Alex Murdaugh Pd

Disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh is facing new charges — this time, alongside his close friend and fellow attorney, Cory Fleming.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced a grand jury indictment Wednesday against both men, according to a press release by his office.

Murdaugh is facing four new charges as a result of the indictment, increasing the total number of charges against the South Carolina legal scion to 75. Fleming was indicted on 18 charges in connection to the alleged financial crimes.

The pair are accused of conspiring together to give Murdaugh a share of a multi-million settlement meant for the family of Murdaugh’s long-time housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

Satterfield died in 2018 after she suffered a fall at Murdaugh’s Colleton County property. Murdaugh allegedly convinced Satterfield’s two sons to hire Fleming — one of his close friends — to sue Murdaugh to gain a settlement from his insurance company, according to the indictment.

Fleming secured a multi-million settlement for Michael Satterfield and Tony Harriott but, according to a lawsuit later filed against Murdaugh by an attorney representing Satterfield’s family, her sons never received the money.

Instead, the money was divided by Murdaugh, Fleming and a Hampton banker who had allegedly been part of the ruse, The State reports.

“Instead of compensating Gloria’s sons for her death, Murdaugh instead converted all of the money to his own personal use, for expenses including but not limited to car payments, loan payments, cash, and checks written to associates,” the indictment alleges.

Fleming is now facing charges of money laundering, criminal conspiracy, making a false statement and breach of trust with fraudulent intent after authorities say he engaged in “schemes to defraud victims” of $3.6 million.

“Fleming’s charges arise out of an alleged scheme to defraud multiple insurance companies, the personal representatives of the Estate of Gloria Satterfield, and the heirs of Gloria Satterfield in the course of surreptitiously delivering Murdaugh a share of the proceeds resulting from settlement of claims against him,” prosecutors said.

Authorities said Fleming “caused a settlement disbursement sheet to be created with fraudulent amounts of prosecution expenses and estate funds” and also made out fraudulent expense checks to himself in connection with the alleged scheme, according to the 44-page indictment.

Murdaugh was indicted on a new conspiracy charge and three counts of making a false statement or misrepresentation in connection with an insurance transaction of $50,000 or more in the latest grand jury indictment.

He was previously indicted in November, December and January by the South Carolina State Grand Jury for another 71 counts related to a series of financial crimes to defraud victims of a total of nearly $8.5 million, prosecutors said.

Both Murdaught and Fleming were suspended from practicing law last year.

Eric Bland, an attorney representing Satterfield’s sons, described the development in a statement to Law & Crime as a “golden day for justice.”

“I think the grand jury has spoken loudly and clearly that Cory Fleming was not just another one of Alex Murdaugh's victims and did not believe his defense that he was too trusting of Alex,” Bland said. “Justice may move slow but when it moves it comes crashing down like a tidal wave.”

Murdaugh has been the center of legal controversies for months.

His wife, Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, were found shot to death on the family’s Colleton County property in June. Alex told authorities he discovered the bodies outside near the dog kennels on his property after he arrived home on June 7. No charges have been filed to date in connection with the deaths.

Months later, Murdaugh was accused of trying to stage his own assisted suicide in an attempt to leave his surviving son, Buster, with a $10 million insurance policy. He was also implicated in the series of financial crimes, accusing him of defrauding past law clients and associates of millions of dollars.