Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 22 federal financial crimes – including accusations he defrauded the estate of his former housekeeper Gloria Satterfield.
The allegations are not new. The former South Carolina attorney is already facing state indictments on similar counts related to the theft of $4 million in insurance payouts after Satterfield fell on the stairs of the Murdaughs’ home in 2018 and later died.
The federal indictments handed down last week also mirror other state financial crimes charges spanning indictments that accuse the disgraced attorney of stealing nearly $9 million from his former law firm, vulnerable clients and the IRS since at least 2005.
His lawyers said that Murdaugh, who turned 55 in his prison cell last week, is cooperating with federal prosecutors, and they anticipate that the case will be “quickly resolved without a trial.”
Murdaugh is serving two life sentences for fatally shooting his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and his 22-year-old son, Paul Murdaugh, on the family’s former South Carolina hunting estate known as Moselle in June 2021.
State prosecutors argued at his double murder trial that Murdaugh executed his wife and son to prevent his financial crimes from coming to light.
He has denied any involvement in their killing and is appealing his conviction. However, when he testified in his own defense, he admitted to stealing from his clients’ settlements and other financial schemes.
In federal court, Murdaugh faces 14 counts of money laundering, five counts of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
His longtime friend and fellow disbarred attorney Cory Fleming pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his part in helping Murdaugh pocket the wrongful death settlements intended for Satterfield’s family.
The housekeeper’s sons never saw a penny of the insurance money, but their attorney, Eric Bland, recovered more than $7.5 million from other parties over the theft.
Banker Russell Laffitte was convicted of six counts of wire and bank fraud after a federal trial for his role in helping Murdaugh steal from clients.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.