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S.C. grand jury indicts Murdaugh on 27 counts in fraud schemes

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 11:41 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - The state grand jury issued five indictments totaling 27 counts against prominent former attorney Alex Murdaugh, including some on Allendale, Bamberg and Orangeburg counties, Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Friday.

The indictments charge Murdaugh with four counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent, seven counts of obtaining signature or property by false pretenses, seven counts of money laundering, eight counts of computer crimes and one count of forgery.

Altogether, Murdaugh is charged with respect to alleged schemes to defraud victims and thereafter launder $4.85 million.

The charges come from five different counties in South Carolina.

Murdaugh, 53, was suspended from the practice of law the state Supreme Court on Sept. 8. That happened after he was indicted by a Colleton County grand jury on offenses related to a scheme to commit suicide and defraud an insurance company.

He remains in custody at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

Here are the indictments announced Friday:

  • In Bamberg County, Murdaugh is charged with obtaining signature or property by false pretenses, value $10,000 or more (four counts); money laundering, value $100,000 or more (three counts); and computer crime, value $10,000 or more. The indictments arise out of an alleged scheme to defraud victims of and thereafter launder $792,000.
  • In Orangeburg County, Murdaugh is charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent, value $10,000 or more; money laundering, value $100,000 or more; computer crime, value $10,000 or more; and forgery, value $10,000 or more. The indictments arise out of an alleged scheme to defraud victims of and thereafter launder $125,000.
  • In Allendale County, Murdaugh is charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent, value $10,000 or more (two counts); and computer crime, value $10,000 or more (two counts). The indictments arise out of an alleged scheme to defraud victims of and thereafter launder $383,056.14.
  • In Colleton County, Murdaugh is charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent, value $10,000 or more; and computer crime, value $10,000 or more. The indictments arise out of an alleged scheme to defraud victims of and thereafter launder $70,000.
  • In Beaufort County, Murdaugh is charged with obtaining signature or property by false pretenses, value $10,000 or more (three counts); money laundering, value $100,000 or more (three counts); computer crime, value $10,000 or more (three counts). The indictments arise out of an alleged scheme to defraud victims of and thereafter launder $3,483,431.95.

The indictments are the latest in a long line of legal issues for Murdaugh.

Among them, he was arrested Sept. 16 and was accused of trying to arrange his own death so his surviving son Buster could collect a $10 million life insurance policy. His law firm has accused him of misusing funds. His law license was suspended. He checked himself into a Florida rehab facility for substance abuse and was arrested immediately after his release. And his cash and assets have been frozen.

Meanwhile, Murdaugh insists he had nothing to do with the June deaths of his wife, Maggie, 52, and their son Paul, 22. Murdaugh said he returned to their rural Colleton County home to find them shot to death. Tight-lipped state police have neither named any suspects nor ruled anyone out.

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