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Crime Alex Murdaugh denied bond in alleged theft of housekeeper's settlement funds

19:42  19 october  2021
19:42  19 october  2021 Source:   nbcnews.com

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Alex Murdaugh, the embattled South Carolina lawyer accused of plotting his own killing as part of a life insurance scheme, was denied bond Tuesday after facing new charges tied to the embezzling of millions of dollars related to the death of his housekeeper.

a couple of people that are standing together in uniform © Provided by NBC News

Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman ordered Murdaugh to undergo a psychiatric evaluation following concerns he presents a potential danger to himself and the community. Murdaugh had already been out on another $20,000 personal recognizance bond in September and was allowed to continue treatment at an out-of-state drug detox center for opioid addiction.

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Authorities arrested him in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday and charged him with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, which each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Murdaugh, 53, masked and wearing a jail jumpsuit, did not speak during the hearing.

The Muradaughs' longtime housekeeper and nanny, Gloria Satterfield, died in February 2018 in what was initially described as an accidental fall. Attorneys for her adult sons, Michael "Tony" Satterfield and Brian Harriott, said they received none of the proceeds from a $4.3 million settlement they said was orchestrated in secret by Murdaugh. Attorneys for the sons say they are owed more than $2.7 million.

During the bond hearing, state prosecutor Creighton Waters said Murdaugh had promised to help Satterfield's sons financially after her death by paying them financial proceeds from a life insurance policy. But instead, Waters said, Murdaugh set up the sons with another attorney, Cory Fleming, a close friend and former college roommate, to represent the family's estate. The sons maintain they were unaware of the pair's friendship.

Murdaugh charged with taking insurance money in maid's death

  Murdaugh charged with taking insurance money in maid's death COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A prominent South Carolina lawyer has been charged with stealing insurance settlements meant for the sons of his late housekeeper, state police said Thursday. Alex Murdaugh was arrested at a drug rehab facility in Orlando, Florida, where his attorneys said he has spent the past six weeks since claiming he was shot in the head on the side of a lonely road near his home, authorities said. The arrest on two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses involves Murdaugh's housekeeper for decades, Gloria Satterfield, the State Law Enforcement Division said in a statement.

Waters said Fleming helped to divert millions of dollars to an account set up by Murdaugh for a fake company called Forge, which was named after a legitimate financial consulting company unaffiliated with the case.

"This account was nothing more than illusion, a fabrication, to create the illusion that these checks were going to a legitimate financial consultant, when in reality it went to an account that he controlled," Waters said.

He added that Murdaugh used the money to pay off credit card debts and write checks to himself and his father, and that there may be another $118,000 stolen.

"Not a dime goes to this family," said Waters, pointing to Satterfield's family sitting behind him.

Fleming's law license was suspended this month in the wake of the allegations. He could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

Satterfield was 57 when she died from injuries sustained from a fall in the Murdaugh home, where she was an employee for more than two decades, prosecutors said. The estate's lawyers said Murdaugh had told others that the family dogs had caused her to trip and fall down the stairs. Satterfield was in a coma for three weeks before she died.

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Satterfield's death is one of several threads that state investigators are working to untangle involving Murdaugh.

The Hampton County coroner recently requested her case be reopened because no autopsy was performed at the time of her death and "on the death certificate, the manner of death was ruled 'natural,' which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident."

a group of people posing for a photo: From left, Paul, Margaret and Alex Murdaugh. (via Facebook) © Provided by NBC News From left, Paul, Margaret and Alex Murdaugh. (via Facebook)

Murdaugh's personal struggles and financial dealings have come under intense scrutiny since June, when he found his wife, Margaret, and son, Paul, fatally shot on the family's rural estate in South Carolina's Lowcountry. Their deaths remain unsolved.

Murdaugh's attorneys revealed last week that authorities were looking at him as a person of interest, but insisted he has an alibi: visiting his mother, who has dementia, and her caregiver on the night his wife and son were slain.

The investigation prompted state authorities to look into other actions by Murdaugh — set off by an alleged plan to arrange having someone kill him over Labor Day weekend in a roadside shooting so that another son, Buster, would receive money from a $10 million life insurance policy.

Alex Murdaugh Arrested AGAIN, This Time on Charges of Falsely ‘Obtaining Property’ Connected to Death of Former Housekeeper

  Alex Murdaugh Arrested AGAIN, This Time on Charges of Falsely ‘Obtaining Property’ Connected to Death of Former Housekeeper The legal heir was hauled into custody in the Orlando, Florida area on two felony counts which originated in his native South Carolina. The post Alex Murdaugh Arrested AGAIN, This Time on Charges of Falsely ‘Obtaining Property’ Connected to Death of Former Housekeeper first appeared on Law & Crime.Embattled and suspended South Carolina attorney Richard “Alex” Murdaugh has been arrested . . . again.

Murdaugh's lawyers said he was depressed over the deaths of his wife and son and was spiraling from a 20-year drug addiction to opioids when he decided that he wanted to die.

Murdaugh was charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report. Another man, Curtis Edward Smith, was charged in connection with the plot, but has denied he knew about the plan beforehand.

The funds in the Satterfield settlement aren't the only finances under scrutiny.

Murdaugh has also been accused by his former law firm of pocketing potentially millions of dollars, which led his law license to be indefinitely suspended in September.

Lawsuits: Jailed lawyer Alex Murdaugh may be hiding millions .
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Attorneys in three different civil lawsuits against Alex Murdaugh want the court to have independent representatives take control of the money and other assets of the South Carolina lawyer involved in a half-dozen state police investigations. The court motions in the cases, all filed last week, said they fear Murdaugh is trying to hide millions of dollars they could possibly collect in their lawsuits by shifting money between unknown accounts and potentially selling off property and a boat after he turned all his affairs over to his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh.

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