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Alex Murdaugh Indicted For Conspiracy As Part Of Alleged Money Laundering And Drug Scheme

Alex Murdaugh has been accused of conspiring with his friend and former legal client Curtis Edward Smith to run a years-long money laundering scheme and pain killer ring.

By Jill Sederstrom
Police handouts of Curtis Smith and Alex Murdaugh

Alex Murdaugh’s legal woes continue to mount after a South Carolina grand jury indicted the disgraced attorney for allegedly running a years-long money laundering scheme and pain killer ring with a man already facing charges for assisting Murdaugh in a botched suicide plan.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the new charges against Murdaugh and his friend and former client Curtis Edward Smith on Tuesday.

The pair are now facing charges of criminal conspiracy and possessing, manufacturing or distributing narcotics for an alleged scheme involving Oxycodone.

Smith was indicted individually for an additional four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery, trafficking methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a Schedule II controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

According to the indictment obtained by Oxygen.com, Murdaugh, Smith and “other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury” conspired together between Oct. 7, 2013 and Feb. 28, 2021 to convert checks into cash “with the intent of carrying on and concealing myriad unlawful activities.”

During the time frame, authorities said Murdaugh wrote at least 437 checks to Smith for a total of $2,413,754.79, which Smith allegedly converted into cash or deposits at various banks throughout the region.

They allegedly used the money to “facilitate the acquisition and distribution of illegally obtained narcotics,” the indictment stated.

The checks were often written for amounts less than $10,000 to “prevent banks from reporting the large currency transactions as required by law.”

To carry out the alleged scheme, Murdaugh is accused of writing the checks to various versions of Smith’s name or writing them to Smith’s close associates.

Authorities said Smith then forged the signatures of those close to him without their knowledge, including his daughter and girlfriend.

Creighton Waters, the chief of the state Attorney General Office’s State Grand Jury Division, said at Smith’s bond hearing Tuesday that the pair had started laundering more money and had stopped taking precautionary measures to avoid getting caught approximately three months before Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and son Paul were found shot to death at the family’s hunting compound in June of 2021, The Associated Press reports.

The double homicide remains unsolved.

The investigation into the deaths launched a deeper look into Murdaugh—a once prominent South Carolina attorney who hailed from a respected legal dynasty. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather all served as the elected prosecutor for Hampton County for 87 years.

Murdaugh, whose law license has been suspended, is now facing being disbarred. He opted last week not to appear in a disbarment hearing in front of the state Supreme Court, saying in a court filing that he is not going to contest the Court’s “authority and decision” to disbar him, WCIV reports.

Through 16 indictments from the State Grand Jury, Murdaugh has been charged with 81 different criminal counts, connected to alleged schemes to defraud his legal clients, law firm and others of more than $8.4 million.

Smith was previously indicted in November by a Hampton County Grand Jury for helping Murdaugh in a botched suicide-for-hire plot. Authorities have said Murdaugh enlisted Smith to carry out an assisted suicide along Old Salkehatchie Road on Sept. 4, providing Smith with a gun and directing him to shoot him in the head.

Investigators have said the Murdaugh wanted his surviving son Buster to be able to cash in on a $10 million life insurance policy and believed his claim would be denied if the death was thought to be a suicide.

Murdaugh was grazed in the head by the bullet and survived the ordeal, later calling 911 himself to claim that an unknown assailant had shot him while he was trying to change a tire.

Smith has publicly denied knowing anything about Murdaugh’s plans and insisted he had only met his friend along the road because Murdaugh had called him for help. When he arrived, he told The New York Post last year that he saw Murdaugh had a gun and it went off as he was trying to wrestle the gun away from Murdaugh.

He was indicted by the Hampton County Grand Jury in November for false claim for payment, filing a false police report, conspiracy, pointing and presenting a firearm at a person, assisted suicide and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

He was also indicted last year by the Colleton County Grand Jury for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana.

In court Tuesday, a judge set his bond at $250,000 for the latest charges connected to the state grand jury.

Smith told the judge it had not been his choice to be pulled into the scheme and was hoping to clear his name, according to The Associated Press.

Murdaugh is already behind bars being held on a $7 million bond for his earlier charges.