South Carolina lawyer accused of having himself shot now charged with embezzlement

·2 min read
Alex Richard Murdaugh police mugshot photo in Orlando, Florida

(Reuters) -Alex Murdaugh, a South Carolina lawyer accused of arranging to have himself shot so his son could collect an insurance payout, is facing new charges accusing him of embezzling settlement funds related to the 2018 death of his housekeeper.

Murdaugh, 53, was shot on Sept. 4 by Curtis Edward Smith and survived. Police said last month he had admitted https://www.reuters.com/world/us/south-carolina-lawyer-plotted-own-shooting-10-mln-insurance-scheme-police-2021-09-15 to having arranged the shooting with Smith; he was charged with insurance fraud and released on bond.

His lawyer has said Murdaugh arranged the shooting because of depression following the death of his wife and another son, who were both murdered in June.

In the latest development, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said Murdaugh had been arrested in Florida on Thursday on charges stemming from an investigation into the misappropriation of settlement funds from the death of Murdaugh's housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

Satterfield's heirs have accused Murdaugh in a South Carolina probate court of diverting more than $3.5 million in death settlement money to a fraudulent account, according to local reports.

Agents arrested him as he left an Orlando drug rehabilitation facility and booked him into a local jail, SLED said. Murdaugh will have a bond hearing on Tuesday at the Richland County courthouse in South Carolina, according to a Friday statement by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, whose office is prosecuting Murdaugh.

The housekeeper died in 2018 after a "trip and fall" accident in the Murdaugh home, according to court records.

The Murdaugh case has received national attention as new details emerge about the downfall of a lawyer whose family has been prominent in South Carolina's legal community for decades.

Murdaugh's attorneys said in a statement on Thursday he would fully cooperate with the investigation, and that Murdaugh deeply regretted that his actions had distracted from the effort to solve the murders of his wife and son.

In September, police also said they were investigating Murdaugh after his former employer, local law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick, alleged he had misappropriated funds.

(Reporting by Julia HarteEditing by Peter Graff and Sandra Maler)

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