GREENVILLE, SC – Former South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh is in custody after law enforcement arrested him for a crime related to the proceeds of insurance of the death of the former housekeeper in his family.
Murdaugh has been charged with two counts of obtaining property under false pretenses, according to a statement released Thursday morning by the state’s Law Enforcement Division.
He was taken into custody Thursday morning after being released from a drug rehab center in Orlando, Florida, according to SLED.
SLED had investigated allegations that Alex Murdaugh embezzled settlement funds following the death of Gloria Satterfield, who died in an apparently travel and fall accident in 2018 at the Murdaugh family’s home in Hampton.
Murdaugh was taken to a correctional facility in Orange County, Florida, where he will be held until an extradition hearing. After that hearing, he will be brought back to South Carolina for a bail hearing, according to SLED.
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SLED chief Mark Keel released a statement Thursday saying the state investigation was ongoing.
“Today is just one more step in a long process of justice for the many victims of these investigations. I want to salute the hard work and dedication our officers have shown over the past four months, ”said Keel. “They will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of those who have fallen victim to Alex Murdaugh and others. As I said before, we are committed to following the facts wherever they take us and we will not stop until justice is served. “
The case will be prosecuted by the South Carolina attorney general’s office.
Murdaugh’s attorney, Dick Harpootlian, did not immediately return a call or email asking for comment.
Satterfield’s actual death on February 26, 2018 is also being reviewed by SLED after Hampton County Coroner Angie Toper requested an inquest. She said Satterfield’s cause of death was listed as “natural” which is inconsistent with the injuries she suffered.
Satterfield children’s attorneys released a statement Thursday after Murdaugh’s indictment.
“Today is a bittersweet day for the Satterfield and Harriott families. The families are extremely grateful to law enforcement, SLED and the South Carolina Attorney General’s office for their investigation and the criminal charges laid today ‘hui against Alex Murdaugh, “attorneys Eric Bland and Ronald Richter said in a statement to the Greenville News. “Families and their lawyers have taken pride in the conduct of our justice system since the family had the courage to file their first lawsuit on September 15, 2021 detailing the theft of money recovered for Gloria Satterfield’s heirs in connection with her dead. . “
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Bland and Richter, in their statement, then discussed the betrayal of the family by those they trusted and how “the death of their loved one has been used as a vehicle to enrich others over clients.” .
“At the end of the day, no one is above the law,” the statement said.
Murdaugh has been at the center of several large-scale criminal investigations and civil lawsuits that are still unfolding. The saga includes the shooting deaths of his wife and son, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, allegations that Alex Murdaugh stole funds from his family’s law firm, drug addiction and a botched plot to murder for pay for suing a $ 10 million life insurance policy. .
Separate lawsuits are also linked to a fatal boating accident in February 2019 involving Paul Murdaugh. SLED is also investigating the unresolved death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith in 2015 in light of the Maggie and Paul Murdaugh murders.
Follow Daniel J. Gross on Twitter: @danieljgross.