By KATIE McLAUGHLIN
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Court TV) — Alex Murdaugh has agreed to plead guilty to 22 federal charges alleging he stole millions of dollars from clients at his law firm for his own personal benefit.
The disgraced Lowcountry attorney signed a plea agreement Monday, which was filed in South Carolina’s U.S. District Court. Charges against Murdaugh include wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Some charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Murdaugh is expected in court Thursday.
The agreement is subject to a federal judge’s approval. Per the agreement, any sentence Murdaugh gets will be served concurrently with any state convictions on the same charges.
The one time heir to a legal dynasty is already serving life without parole for fatally shooting his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and son, Paul Murdaugh. At his murder trial, Murdaugh admitted stealing money from clients but this federal plea agreement will mark the first time Murdaugh has ever pled guilty to a crime.
Murdaugh faces over 100 state and federal charges in total related to a nearly decade long, multi million dollar fraud scheme. Prosecutors allege Murdaugh, along with his former best friend Cory Fleming and ex-Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte, conspired to defraud clients.
Fleming and Laffitte were previously convicted in federal court for their roles in the scheme. Fleming is currently serving a four year sentence and Laffitte is serving a seven year sentence.
One of the victims was former Murdaugh housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died following a trip and fall incident on the grounds of the family’s hunting lodge. Murdaugh allegedly stole a $4 million insurance payout earmarked for Satterfield’s sons.
Despite his federal plea, Murdaugh is slated to face trial on state charges in November. Murdaugh appeared in court for the first time since his murder sentencing at a hearing last week regarding the state charges.
Fleming, who already pled guilty to state charges, received a 10 year prison sentence; and Laffitte is currently awaiting trial on those state charges.
In other Murdaugh news, the convicted killer is seeking a new murder trial based on bombshell claims of jury tampering. Defense attorneys for Murdaugh say they have evidence that Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill advised jurors not to believe Murdaugh’s testimony. They say Hill tampered with the jury in order to secure a book deal.