Disgraced South Carolina legal scion Alex Murdaugh was sued by his own family’s law firm this week after confessing to using a fraudulent bank account to siphon millions for his personal use, court documents show.
The law office of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick (PMPED) — run in part by at least three other Murdaughs — sued its drug-addicted former shareholder in Colleton County on Wednesday.
The lawsuit said that “Alex Murdaugh was converting client and PMPED money to his own personal use” using a bank account for “a fictitious entity that provides no services and makes no products for sale.”
He “was able to covertly steal these funds by disguising disbursements from settlements as payments” to the account, the lawsuit said.
The scheme was discovered on Sept. 2, nearly three months after the once-powerful lawyer found his wife and 22-year-old son shot dead near their weekend hunting lodge, also in Colleton County, the firm said.
Murdaugh, 53, was confronted the next morning, Sept. 3, and “admitted to converting monies owed to PMPED and its clients to his own personal use,” the lawsuit said.
The firm alerted law enforcement on Sept. 4 — the same day Murdaugh has admitted getting someone to shoot him in a doomed assisted suicide plot to get $10 million in life insurance for his surviving son, Buster.
He is reportedly in rehab for opioid addiction after being freed on $20,000 bail in that case.
PMPED said it “immediately retained a forensic accounting firm to begin a thorough review of all financial activities of Alex Murdaugh while employed at PMPED. This review is ongoing.”
PMPED “has reimbursed all client trust accounts who have suffered a known loss” from the fraud — and expects more to emerge, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit did not specify how much was taken. But sources close to the firm told local outlet FitsNews that Murdaugh stole more than $10 million.
The children of Murdaugh’s late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died at his home under suspicious circumstances in 2018, have already recovered $4.3 million that he allegedly pilfered from them.
Her death and the missing millions is just one of a slew of Murdaugh’s alleged crimes being investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which is also leading the hunt for who murdered his wife, Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, in June.
Jim Griffin, one of Murdaugh’s defense attorneys, called PMPED’s lawsuit “a very sad development.”
“Alex holds every member of the firm in very high esteem,” he told the Post and Courier. “He has pledged his full cooperation to the firm.”