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Alex Murdaugh's Alleged Misappropriation Of Funds At His Law Firm Now Being Investigated By Law Enforcement
Tragedy and scandal have surrounded the Murdaughs, one of South Carolina's most prominent legal families.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced Monday that it had launched an investigation into allegations that Alex Murdaugh misappropriated funds from his prominent law firm.
“As Chief of SLED, I continue to urge the public to be patient and let this investigation take its course. Investigative decisions we make throughout this case and any potentially related case must ultimately withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process,” Chief Mark Keel said in a statement announcing the investigation. “As with all cases, SLED is committed to conducting a professional, thorough, and impartial criminal investigation, no matter where the facts lead us.”
The announcement comes a week after Murdaugh—whose wife and son were found shot to death at the family’s property in June—resigned from the Hampton, South Carolina firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltztoth & Detrick and announced plans to enter a drug rehab treatment program.
“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life,” he said at the time, according to the statement obtained by The Island Packet. “I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret. I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders.”
The firm itself—which was founded by Murdaugh’s great grandfather in 1910—responded by saying that they planned to hire a forensic accounting firm to conduct a thorough investigation after claims had surfaced that Murdaugh had misappropriated funds at the personal injury firm, WTOC reports.
The South Carolina Supreme Court also announced Wednesday that it had suspended Murdaugh’s license to practice law while the allegations are under investigation.
Murdaugh’s troubles at the law firm came to light after he reported being shot in the head on Sept. 4 along a South Carolina roadway while pulled over to address a flat tire.
“A male driver in a blue pick-up asked him if he had car troubles, as soon as Alex replied, he was shot,” Murdaugh spokesman Amanda Loveday told People.
She shot down rumors that the shooting had been “self-inflicted” and said he had “an entry and exit wound” and “his skull was fractured.”
His attorney, Jim Griffin, also told The Island Packet that Murdaugh had been shot by an unknown assailant before two Good Samaritans found him along the road and helped him get medical attention.
“I don’t think you choose to have a flat tire or stage a flat tire to commit suicide. That makes no sense,” he said. “There are many things (being reported) that are incongruent.”
According to Griffin, no weapon was found at the scene and there was evidence one of Murdaugh’s tires had been slashed.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is now investigating the incident along with the murders of Murdaugh’s wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22. The pair were found shot to death, in separate locations, outside their Colleton County estate near on June 7.
Murdaugh told investigators he came home around 10 p.m. that evening to find his wife and son dead, according to a statement from authorities.
Both died from “multiple gunshot wounds,” authorities said.
At the time, Paul had been awaiting trial on allegations of boating while intoxicated during a 2019 crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.
The latest legal woes signal a fall from grace for a family known as a legal dynasty in the area.
Murdaugh’s family, including his father and grandfather, each ran the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office while maintaining the private firm for decades.