Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!
Alex Murdaugh’s Friend Sentenced to 4 Years for Helping Him Steal Millions from Sons of Dead Housekeeper
Court records show that Cory Fleming and his law firm pocketed about $675,000 in settlement money from Gloria Satterfield's death.
A close friend of disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been sentenced to just under four years in prison for the pair's plot to steal millions from the family of Murdaugh's housekeeper, who died in his home.
A federal judge sentenced Cory Fleming to 46 months on Tuesday, which was on the lower side of the punishment he was eligible to receive, according to the Associated Press.
Fleming immediately began serving his time after the sentencing. The 54-year-old, who surrendered his license to practice law in South Carolina and Georgia, claimed that while he knew Murdaugh had planned to steal insurance settlements meant for housekeeper Gloria Satterfield's two sons, he thought it would be more like $100,000, rather than the full $4 million-plus payouts.
Court records show that Fleming and his law firm pocketed about $675,000 in settlement money from Satterfield's death, and have already paid it back, according to the AP.
Murdaugh is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after being found guilty in March for fatally shooting his wife Maggie and youngest son Paul on June 7, 2021 at the family's hunting compound in Colleton County, South Carolina.
Prosecutors in Murdaugh's murder case had argued that he had killed his wife and son to delay scrutiny related to the many financial crimes he was accused of committing at his law firm.
Another Murdaugh associate, his personal banker Russell Laffitte, was given a seven-year federal prison sentence in early August for conspiring with Murdaugh to defraud clients out of nearly $2 million in legal settlements. Laffitte was convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and misapplying bank funds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of South Carolina. Laffitte is appealing both the sentence and conviction, the AP reported.
Fleming pleaded guilty in May to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud regarding settlement money that was to go to Satterfield's sons. He's also facing state charges related to Satterfield’s family in South Carolina.
Satterfield, who died in 2018 after a fall at the Murdaugh home, worked for the family for more than two decades, performing tasks ranging from cleaning to babysitting.
After Satterfield's death, Murdaugh told her adult sons that they should hire Fleming as their lawyer, but kept from them that the attorney was a former college roommate and longtime friend, the AP reported.
Saying that Satterfield had tripped over the family dogs at his house, Murdaugh got insurance companies to settle for more than $4 million. But instead of the cash going to Satterfield’s estate, Murdaugh reportedly had Fleming send the checks directly to him. Satterfield's sons said they never got any of the money until they hired a different attorney after Murdaugh's various legal woes.
While he sits in jail, Murdaugh is still facing dozens of state and federal charges ranging from allegedly stealing from clients at his law firm, to tax evasion, and hiring someone in a failed attempt to kill him so that his surviving son could collect life insurance funds.