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Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh has been indicted on 23 more charges for allegedly defrauding former clients, bringing the number of charges he faces up to 74.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced in a Friday statement that a grand jury issued Murdaugh, 53, “three indictments consisting of 24 new charges" — which include new indictments in an existing case. In total, Murdaugh has now charged been with 71 financial crimes by the grand jury and faces three county charges related to his efforts to hire someone to kill him.
These latest indictments include 19 breach of trust with fraudulent intent charges and three computer crimes charges.
In the first case, the charges “arise out of an alleged scheme to defraud the victims of $583,056.14” in Allendale County according to the statement. FITSNews reports that the victim is Arthur Badger, whose wife Donna was killed in a 2011 vehicle crash.
The second case is connected to an alleged scheme in Hampton County in which the suspended lawyer is accused of defrauding the estate of Hakeem Pinckney of $350,245. Pickney, who was deaf, became a quadriplegic after a 2009 car crash and later died of his injuries.
The third indictment is linked to an alleged scheme to defraud Natarsha Thomas of $398,714.90. FITSNews reports that she is the cousin of Hakeem Pinckney, who was also injured in the 2009 crash.
The remaining “indictments arise out of an alleged scheme to defraud the victim of $1,325,000,” also in Allendale County. FITSNews links that indictment to Murdaugh’s former client Deon J. Martin; the Island Packet reports the new indictment supersedes and adds to a previous indictment against Murdaugh in that case.
“Altogether, Murdaugh is charged in the new January State Grand Jury Indictments with respect to alleged schemes to defraud victims of $2,657,016.12,” the press release states. “When combined with the State Grand Jury Indictments from November and December 2021, the alleged total is $8,875,944.45.”
Murdaugh was previously indicted in November and then December on 48 counts, including breach of trust with fraudulent intent, obtaining property by false pretenses, money laundering, computer crimes and forgery.
In September of 2021, Murdaugh allegedly orchestrated a hit on himself in a failed suicide attempt to which he has since confessed and for which he also faces charges. He faces three charges in Colleton County related to that incident.
One of Alex’s attorneys, Jim Griffin, has stated that Murdaugh is currently considered a person of interest in the June double homicide of Alex Murdaugh's wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22. (Paul was facing charges for a high profile boat crash that caused the death of a peer at the time of his murder.)
The disgraced lawyer was suspended from the practice of law by the Supreme Court of South Carolina in September.
Murdaugh was first jailed in October for misappropriating funds meant for the relatives of his housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died after suffering a fall at the Murdaugh home in 2018. (The acts underlying those charges were covered by a superseding indictment in November and thus the initial charges were dropped.) Murdaugh apologized in December for misappropriating the funds, agreeing to pay the relatives a $4.3 million settlement.
State Grand Jury Judge Alison Lee refused a request to lower Murdaugh’s bond just this week after his lawyers argued that he was strapped for cash.
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