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Friday, March 31, 2023

Alex Murdaugh’s guilty verdict isn’t the end: What’s next for the disgraced lawyer?

Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to two life sentences for the murders of his wife Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh and son Paul Murdaugh, but the disgraced former attorney still faces a slew of other charges.

The 52-year-old mother and her 22-year-old son were shot dead on June 7, 2021 at the family’s 1,700-acre hunting property in Colleton County, South Carolina.

Alex Murdaugh, who has pleaded innocent, was found guilty on March 2, 2023 of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of gun possession while committing a violent crime after a six-week trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro.

But Murdaugh’s legal troubles are far from over as he faces a slew of charges for alleged crimes including insurance fraud and tax evasion.

news week has everything you need to know about the other charges Murdaugh faces.

Murdaugh faces 99 indictments from 19 separate charges over a variety of financial fraud schemes.

The former lawyer is accused of plotting since 2011 to defraud clients he represented through his former law firm PMPED of part of their settlement funds.

According to court documents, he would do this by telling clients that their settlements were smaller than expected or that they would have to pay additional fees for services like accident reconstruction.

Prosecutors said Murdaugh would wire the additional portions of the settlement money to a fake account. According to the indictment, he stole approximately $8.7 million as part of these plans.

The 99 charges include fraud, attempted tax evasion, money laundering, embezzlement, obtaining signatures or property by false pretenses, forgery, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

Murdaugh faces up to 700 years in prison if found guilty on these financial fraud charges.

During the murder trial, prosecutors argued that Murdaugh’s motive for the murders was to distract from the financial problems he was suffering.

Murdaugh, banned from practicing law in South Carolina, confessed under oath at the trial to robbing PMPED and at least 18 clients from a law firm.

The Murdaugh family’s housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, died as a result of a fall at her Moselle River home in 2018. The investigation into her death is ongoing after her case was reopened by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) in 2021 .

Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper asked law enforcement to reopen the investigation, saying that Satterfield’s death “was not reported to the coroner at this time, nor was an autopsy performed.”

Additionally, Topper wrote, “The death certificate listed the manner of death as ‘natural,’ which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident.”

Satterfield’s family is named in Murdaugh’s financial fraud indictment, as he is accused of stealing $3.4 million in insurance money that was supposed to go to her sons after her death.

Murdaugh is facing a spate of lawsuits from survivors of a February 2019 boating accident in which his late son Paul allegedly intoxicatedly rammed a motorboat into a bridge, killing his 19-year-old friend Mallory Beach.

Before his death, Paul Murdaugh was charged with boating under the influence of alcohol and faced up to 25 years in prison.

The Beach family filed to sue Alex Murdaugh in a lawsuit that was settled days before his murder trial began. However, other passengers are still suing him at the time of writing for allegedly “facilitating Paul’s drinking or interfering with law enforcement investigations,” per The Independent.

In September 2021, Murdaugh attempted to stage his own death so his surviving son Buster, 26, could benefit from a $10 million life insurance policy.

Murdaugh was shot dead on the side of the road in Hampton County, South Carolina, but survived and was treated at a hospital for what police called a “superficial gunshot wound to the head.”

He later confessed to asking a man named Curtis Eddie Smith to shoot and kill him. Both men have been arrested and charged in the incident and are currently awaiting trial.

Both Murdaugh and Smith were later charged with two counts of conspiracy, including a narcotics-related oxycodone count.

Smith was charged with four counts of money laundering and three counts of counterfeiting, among other things.

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