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Crime Police Investigate Allegations That Alex Murdaugh Stole Funds from His Law Firm

21:05  14 september  2021
21:05  14 september  2021 Source:   people.com

Murdaugh family killings: A timeline of murder and mystery in South Carolina

  Murdaugh family killings: A timeline of murder and mystery in South Carolina For 87 years, the Murdaugh family name came to represent a legal dynasty in coastal South Carolina, where three successive generations controlled the local prosecutor's office.But in recent years, the family has been closely connected to bloody tragedy. There was a fatal boating crash in 2019, the killings of two family members in June, the shooting of a family member last week and allegations of fraud and drug abuse.

On Monday, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced that it has opened an investigation into allegations that Alex Murdaugh, 53, of Islandton, stole funds from the prestigious law firm his great-grandfather started more than 100 years ago.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Facebook Alex Murdaugh © Provided by People Facebook Alex Murdaugh

The state's highest law enforcement agency opened the investigation "based upon allegations that he misappropriated funds in connection to his position as a former lawyer with the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick (PMPED) law firm in Hampton, South Carolina," it said in a statement.

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  Unsolved Murdaugh shootings yield misconduct claim, conflicting accounts — and more questions On June 7, deputies in South Carolina discovered a grisly scene at one family's hunting lodge property: Paul and Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh were shot to death.A frantic 911 call had been placed by Alex Murdaugh, a personal injury attorney, at 10:07 p.m. His voice quivered as he told a dispatcher that his wife, Margaret, and son, Paul, were not breathing.

The announcement comes a week after Murdaugh, scion of a local legal dynasty that has dominated the Lowcountry for more than a century, resigned from PMPED following allegations that he stole money from the practice, The New York Times reported.

In early June, Murdaugh was thrust into the national spotlight when he came home and found his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and son, Paul, 22, shot and killed on the grounds of their family hunting lodge.

RELATED: Why Were a 'Loving' Mother and Son From a S.C. Family Dynasty Murdered on Their Property?

a man wearing a suit and tie posing for a photo: Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook The Murdaugh family © Provided by People Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook The Murdaugh family

He made headlines again on Sept. 4, when he called 911 to say he'd been shot on the side of the road while changing a tire. After being released from the hospital two days later with a superficial wound, according to authorities, he announced that he was resigning from the firm and entering rehab for substance abuse.

After Being Accused of Misusing Funds, Alex Murdaugh Has His Law License Suspended

  After Being Accused of Misusing Funds, Alex Murdaugh Has His Law License Suspended Days after Alex Murdaugh was shot in the head, his law firm accused him of malfeasance and cut ties with himOn Wednesday, five days after being accused of diverting funds from his law firm, Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick, the South Carolina Supreme Court placed Alex on an interim suspension, according to an order obtained by PEOPLE.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Alex Murdaugh © Facebook Alex Murdaugh

RELATED: 'Good Samaritan' Drove a Bleeding Alex Murdaugh to the Hospital After Shooting, His Lawyer Says

Amid the accusations of theft from the firm, on Wednesday, he had his law license suspended by the state's highest court. He is also prohibited from prosecuting cases as a volunteer Solicitor in the 14th Judicial Circuit, The Island Packet reports.

This came as yet another blow to the family's reputation, since a succession of Murdaughs had served as Solicitor in the 14th Judicial Circuit, prosecuting criminal cases in four counties, for decades, starting in 1920.

a tree in the middle of a park: FitsNews.com Entrance to the Murdaugh property © Provided by People FitsNews.com Entrance to the Murdaugh property

With so many people in the South Carolina low country and across the nation interested in the powerful family's continuing drama and wanting answers, SLED Chief Mark Keel stressed in the statement that the probe will take time.

Alex Murdaugh, Member of Prominent South Carolina Legal Family Rocked by Murder, Has Been Shot in the Head

  Alex Murdaugh, Member of Prominent South Carolina Legal Family Rocked by Murder, Has Been Shot in the Head Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh, a member of a prominent South Carolina legal family which was rocked by double murders this summer, was shot in the head on Saturday. The post Alex Murdaugh, Member of Prominent South Carolina Legal Family Rocked by Murder, Has Been Shot in the Head first appeared on Law & Crime.Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh, a member of a prominent South Carolina legal family which was rocked by double murders this summer, was shot in the head on Saturday.  That’s according to reports from Charleston, S.C.

RELATED: After Being Accused of Misusing Funds, Alex Murdaugh Has His Law License Suspended

"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," Keel said in the statement. "As with all cases, SLED is committed to conducting a professional, thorough, and impartial criminal investigation, no matter where the facts lead us."

Shocking Family Drama Grips the Low Country

For the past two months, theories abounded about who shot and killed Murdaugh's wife and son at Moselle, their 1,770-acre property.

At the time of his murder, Murdaugh's son was awaiting trial in connection to the 2019 death of Mallory Beach, 19, who was killed when Paul allegedly drove his family's boat into a bridge piling while drunk.

a man and a woman posing for the camera: Maggie Murdaugh Facebook Maggie and Paul Murdaugh © Provided by People Maggie Murdaugh Facebook Maggie and Paul Murdaugh

The murders shed light on a string of other deaths connected to the family. This led to speculation about the murders and whether the family's actions from the past were somehow connected to them.

Alex Murdaugh Suspended from Practicing Law in S.C. After Being Accused of Misappropriating Funds and Entering Rehab

  Alex Murdaugh Suspended from Practicing Law in S.C. After Being Accused of Misappropriating Funds and Entering Rehab The Supreme Court of South Carolina acted has quickly to suspend Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh, 53, from practicing law in the Palmetto State in the wake of the attorney's high-profile resignation from his law firm, an allegation about the misappropriation of funds, ongoing investigations into the murders of his wife and son, and another shooting. The post Alex Murdaugh Suspended from Practicing Law in S.C. After Being Accused of Misappropriating Funds and Entering Rehab first appeared on Law & Crime.

Then, on Sept. 4, Murdaugh was shot, which led to more speculation including whether someone was, in fact, targeting the family — and even whether he pulled the trigger himself, which his spokesperson denied in a statement, saying the shooting was not self-inflicted.

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On Sept. 6, when Murdaugh got out of the hospital, he released a statement — but not about the shooting.

"The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life," he said in the statement, which was 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.

"I am immensely sorry to everyone I've hurt, including my family, friends and colleagues," he said in the statement. "I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships."

RELATED: 'Big Family, Old Money, New Drama': Inside the Powerful S.C. Family at Center of Murder Mystery

Murdaugh's law firm released a statement, saying, "This is disappointing news for all of us," adding that it had cut all ties with Alex. "Rest assured that our firm will deal with this in a straightforward manner. There's no place in our firm for such behavior."

Alex Murdaugh, who is expected to turn himself in Thursday, is the subject of multiple investigations in South Carolina

  Alex Murdaugh, who is expected to turn himself in Thursday, is the subject of multiple investigations in South Carolina Alex Murdaugh, the South Carolina lawyer whose wife and son were shot and killed in June, plans to voluntarily surrender to police Thursday on charges related to a subsequent insurance fraud scheme, his lawyer told CNN. © Family Friend Alex Murdaugh FILE According to court documents, Murdaugh arranged for a former client to kill him so that his surviving son could collect a life insurance payout of about $10 million. One of Murdaugh's lawyers, Jim Griffin, told CNN that they have been informed an arrest warrant has been issued for Murdaugh on charges of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

Jim Griffin, one of Murdaugh's attorneys, told PEOPLE that "Alex resigned from the firm after being accused of diverting lawyer fees. These allegations prompted him to confront his dependency and he voluntarily checked into an in-patient substance abuse rehab facility after being discharged from the hospital Monday."

On Wednesday, Murdaugh's older brother, Randolph Murdaugh IV, 54, spoke out for the first time since the resignation, expressing his dismay about the situation.

a couple of people posing for the camera: ABC News Randy Murdaugh and John Marvin Murdaugh on Good Morning America in June © Provided by People ABC News Randy Murdaugh and John Marvin Murdaugh on Good Morning America in June

"I was shocked, just as the rest of my PMPED family, to learn of my brother, Alex's, drug addiction and stealing of money," he said in the statement.

No arrests have been made in connection to the shootings of his wife and son — or the shooting on Saturday.

Police continue to investigate.

While officials have shed little light on Saturday's shooting, saying only that it was an "attempted murder," Murdaugh's lawyer and spokesperson have divulged several details.

On Sept. 4, "Alex pulled over after seeing a low tire indicator light," his spokesperson, Amanda Loveday, told PEOPLE in an email.

"A male driver in a blue pick-up asked him if he had car troubles, as soon as Alex replied, he was shot."

RELATED: Alex Murdaugh Suffered Only 'Superficial' Injuries in Shooting and Will Enter Treatment

On Thursday, Griffin told PEOPLE in an email that Murdaugh was bleeding and suffered "significant head trauma" after getting shot while changing a tire.

The Hampton County Sheriff's Office had initially said in its Sept. 4 incident report that Murdaugh had no "visible injury" when he was shot. That HCSO later corrected that, saying he had suffered a visible injury.

Prominent attorney shot months after murders of wife and son .
More than two months after his wife and son were found murdered, prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh was shot on the side of the road, police said. Alex Murdaugh, 53, called 911 Saturday afternoon to report being shot near Varnville, South Carolina, in Hampton County, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Murdaugh said he was changing a tire when a car passed him, turned around and then someone in the car shot him, a family spokesperson told ABC News.

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