By HEATHER RUPPE
Alex Murdaugh has been charged with additional crimes, this time for obtaining property under false pretenses.
The once prominent Hampton County lawyer who has fallen from prosecutorial grace has been under an international spotlight since his wife and son were shot to death in June of this year. Since those murders, which are still under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), several other criminal cases have been opened – all of which are linked to Alex Murdaugh and his family.
Now, Murdaugh himself continues to find himself on the other side of the law: recently, Murdaugh was charged with insurance fraud and conspiracy to attempt insurance fraud for attempting to stage his own failed suicide during the Labor Day weekend of 2021. Now, SLED has announced that Murdaugh is also charged with two felony counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretenses.
Murdaugh was booked on these latest charges following his release from a Florida-based drug rehab center. He was taken into custody and booked on the new charges at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County on Oct. 16th.
A judge denied Murdaugh bond on Monday.
“Today is merely one more step in a long process for justice for the many victims in these investigations,” said Mark Keel, SLED chief. “I want to commend the hard work and dedication that our agents have shown over the last four months … They will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of those who were victimized by Alex Murdaugh and others.
“I have said previously, we are committed to following the facts wherever they may lead us and we will not stop until justice is served.”
According to signed warrants provided by SLED, Murdaugh is accused of obtaining property by false pretenses by not properly paying insurance settlement funds to the surviving relatives of Gloria Ann Satterfield, a woman who allegedly fell and hit her head at the Murdaugh residence in Islandton on Feb. 26, 2018. Satterfield died from that injury: signed warrants related to this case state that Murdaugh “coordinated with Ms. Satterfield’s family to sue himself in order to seek an insurance settlement with the stated intent to give the proceeds to the Satterfield family to pay for funeral expenses and monetary compensation for Satterfield’s children.”
According to the warrant, Murdaugh recommended that the Satterfield family hire Cory Fleming of the Moss, Kuhn and Fleming Law Firm in Beaufort to represent them. Then, insurance settlements in the amount of about $4.3 million were brokered. The Satterfield family never received this money and the settlement agreement was not filed in court.
On May 13, 2019, Fleming, from that law firm, then wrote a check for $2.961 million to “forge.,” sending the money to Murdaugh who created a bank account titled “Forge.”
The criminal investigation into Murdaugh is ongoing, according to SLED.
SLED also still has approximately six open criminal investigations into crimes related to the Murdaugh family, including the still unsolved double homicide of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh’s wife and son.