Criminal Justice

Ex-lawyer Alex Murdaugh, already convicted of murder, pleads guilty to state charges for stealing from clients

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AP Alex Murdaugh March 2023

Disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was sentenced in early March to life in prison after a conviction in a double-murder trial during his sentencing at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina. He was found guilty on all counts. Photo by Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post and Courier via the Associated Press.

Disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh pleaded guilty Friday to 22 state charges for stealing millions of dollars from personal injury clients, a deal that calls for a 27-year sentence.

Murdaugh, 55, pleaded guilty Friday in state court in Beaufort, South Carolina, report the New York Times, the Associated Press, Courthouse News Service and CNN.

The charges include money laundering, breach of trust, forgery, criminal conspiracy and tax evasion, according to Courthouse News Service and CNN.

Financial crime victims include the estate of Gloria Satterfield, a Murdaugh housekeeper who died in a fall at the Murdaugh family’s home in 2018.

According to coverage by Courthouse News Service, Murdaugh “rolled his eyes and sometimes smirked” as Judge Clifton Newman summarized the allegations. Murdaugh said he “took all that money” and committed all the crimes, although he didn’t totally agree with the state’s account.

The sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 28, will also determine the amount that Murdaugh owes in restitution.

Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison in March for the June 2021 murders of his wife, Maggie, and son Paul, allegedly to distract attention from his financial crimes.

In September, he pleaded guilty to 22 federal charges for stealing from clients, including charges of bank and wire fraud and money laundering. Federal prosecutors recommended that any sentence run concurrent to any state prison time for the same conduct.

Murdaugh is seeking to overturn his murder convictions based on alleged actions by a court clerk, including telling jurors that they should not be “fooled by” the defense evidence.

The clerk has denied the allegations, CNN reports.

See also:

“Ex-lawyer Murdaugh, in prison for murder, is charged with stealing from clients”

“Alex Murdaugh and whether to testify in your own defense”

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