Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!
Bond Is Set For Cory Fleming, Alex Murdaugh's Friend And Fellow Attorney
State Judge Alison Lee set a $100,000 surety bond Thursday for Cory Fleming who is accused of conspiring with his close friend Alex Murdaugh to steal millions from an insurance settlement.
Bond has been set for Cory Fleming—the South Carolina attorney and former college roommate of Alex Murdaugh—after he was arrested for a series of alleged financial crimes connected to the legal scion.
State Judge Alison Lee set a $100,000 surety bond Thursday for Fleming, who is facing 18 fraud-related charges, during a virtual court hearing, according to The State. He would have to post just $10,000 in cash to secure his release from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
Prosecutors have accused the Beaufort lawyer of conspiring with Murdaugh to steal millions from an insurance settlement meant for the family of Murdaugh’s long-time housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, according to The State.
Satterfield died in 2018 after falling at Murdaugh’s home.
Murdaugh allegedly convinced Satterfield’s two sons to hire Fleming—his former roommate and the godfather of one of his sons—to sue Murdaugh to gain a settlement from his insurance company, according to the indictment. Murdaugh allegedly never divulged the close relationship he had with Fleming to the family.
Fleming secured a $4.3 million settlement for Satterfield’s two sons, but rather than distributing the funds, prosecutors say Murdaugh and Fleming diverted the money for their own use.
Fleming allegedly helped funnel the money into fraudulent bank accounts set up by Murdaugh and never notified the family about the multi-million settlement, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors have accused him of stealing an estimated $3.6 million from Satterfield’s sons.
On Thursday, prosecutor Creighton Waters, who is handling the case for the South Carolina Attorney’s General Office, said at the time of the alleged theft Fleming was struggling financially, FITSNews reports.
“Fleming has not in any way cooperated with this investigation,” he said, adding that he only made restitution to Satterfield’s family after “everything came to light and the writing was on the wall.”
Waters had argued for a $450,000 bond, which amounted to $25,000 for each felony charge against him, while Fleming’s attorney, Deborah Barbier, had hoped he’d be released on his own recognizance.
Barbier argued that Fleming had no criminal history, wasn’t a flight risk, and had “led an exemplary life,” according to the news outlet.
“I can’t tell you how many people approach me every week to offer their support of Cory and that is throughout the state,” she said. “He has friends who have been extremely supportive, neighbors, the Beaufort community, the law enforcement community. ... They know he’s not a criminal.”
She insisted the father of two had “cooperated in the production of documents,” had already reimbursed the Satterfield family after they filed a lawsuit against him last year and was not guilty of the charges against him.
His wife of 24 years Eve Fleming, a public defender, attended the virtual hearing in support of her husband, along with his mother, stepfather, father, stepmother and a cousin.
Lee called the allegations against Fleming “very serious” but ultimately opted to set the $100,000 surety bond in the case.
“The fact that (Fleming) was a practicing attorney and that these allegations place a blemish on the legal profession along with the activities and the allegations against Mr. Murdaugh is very unfortunate,” she said, according to The State. “But that, for me, is not a basis to affect the bond.”
Fleming was no longer in custody by Friday morning, according to jail records obtained by Oxygen.com.
As part of the conditions of his bond, he must surrender his passport and is prohibited from leaving South Carolina without permission from the court.
Fleming is facing a total of 18 charges, including conspiracy, false statement or misrepresentation in connection with an insurance transaction of $50,000 or more, breach of trust with fraudulent intent, money laundering and computer crime.
After Fleming’s arrest was announced earlier this week, attorneys for Satterfield’s family said in a statement to Oxygen.com that it had been a “golden day for justice in this entire Murdaugh saga.”
“The grand jury has spoken loudly and clearly that Cory Fleming was not just another one of Alex Murdaugh’s victims and they did not believe his defense that he was too trusting of Alex,” the joint statement from Eric S. Bland and Ronald L. Richter, Jr. said. “Justice may move slow, but when it moves, it comes crashing down like a tidal wave.”
They aded that “nothing that Alex or Cory did” in court hearings had benefited the Satterfields.
“Everything they did during those two hearings benefited themselves,” they continued. “A lawyer only owes duties to his clients and cannot put his own interests or anyone else’s interests above those of the client.”
Murdaugh was also indicted on four new charges by the grand jury, bringing the total number of charges against him to 75 for allegedly trying to stage his own assisted suicide and defrauding his former clients and associates.
The alleged crimes came to light just months after Murdaugh’s wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, were found dead on the family’s Colleton County hunting compound in June. The murders remain unsolved.