Alex Murdaugh Arrested While Leaving Florida Rehab on Charges Related to Gloria Satterfield’s Settlement: SLED
Gloria Satterfield was the Murdaugh family's housekeeper, and she died in 2018 following a slip-and-fall accident on their property. Her sons claimed in a lawsuit last week they didn't receive any of the $4.3 million settlement payout they were owed.
Alex Murdaugh, the disgraced South Carolina lawyer whose wife and son were killed in a double-murder in July, is in custody once again. The 52-year-old was arrested Thursday morning as he was released from an Orlando, Florida, rehabilitation facility. He had checked himself in last month to recover from his opioid addiction, his attorney said.
Murdaugh, who is being held at Orange County Corrections awaiting extradition, is being charged with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses stemming from the wrongful death settlement of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.
This comes following a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigation into misappropriated settlement funds, authorities said.
Satterfield's sons, Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriot, filed new court documents alleging they received none of an overall $4.3 million court-approved wrongful death settlement after their mother slipped and fell while working on Murdaugh's property in 2018, which ultimately led to her death.
The accusations in the lawsuit continued to claim Murdaugh attempted to move settlement money away from the heirs by making checks of the correct amount to the incorrect recipient, then mailed to a P.O. Box in Hampton County, South Carolina, according to photos of the checks provided by the Satterfield family attorney Eric Bland, published by the Slate.
Satterfield's two sons were not even told they had won the wrongful death settlement at all, according to the Wall Street Journal's podcast, "The Journal."
"Today is merely one more step in a long process for justice for the many victims in these investigations. I want to commend the hard work and dedication that our agents have shown over the last four months," SLED Chief Mark Keel said in a press statement. "They will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of those who were victimized by Alex Murdaugh and others."
The Murdaughs have long been a prominent South Carolina family, with three generations of the Murdaugh family having served as elected prosecutors for the state over the span of 87 years.
His great-grandfather founded the law firm PMPED, or Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, at which Alex had been a partner until last month, when he agreed to resign over the firm's claims he siphoned tens of millions of dollars of office funds into a personal bank account, "The Journal" reported.
Murdaugh is also now being sued by the law firm in a lawsuit that claims he was able to "covertly steal these funds by disguising disbursements from settlements as payments to an annuity company, trust account or structured settlement for clients or as structured attorney's fees that he had earned when in fact they were deposited into the fictitious account at Bank of America," according to The Island Packet.
Murdaugh also continues to deal with the aftermath a 2019 boat crash that ended with the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Another passenger on the boat, Connor Cook, filed a lawsuit last month alleging that Murdaugh attempted to shift the blame from his son Paul, who had been driving the boat at the time, to Cook in the aftermath of the boating accident near Parris Island.
Paul had been facing felony charges related to the boat crash at the time of his and his mom's double-homicide in front of the family's Colleton County hunting lodge.
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