Posted by on October 14, 2021 9:01 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

Alex Murdaugh charged with stealing millions in insurance money from dead housekeeper’s sons

FILE-In this Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 file photo, Alex Murdaugh sits during his bond hearing, in Varnville, S.C. The family at the center of an unfolding legal drama in a South Carolina town is used to using its power, but not being questioned. The drama started in June when Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were shot and killed at their family’s home. Alex Murdaugh found the bodies of his wife and son. (AP Photo/Mic Smith, File) Mic Smith/AP

Alex Murdaugh charged with stealing millions in insurance money from dead housekeeper’s sons

Kaelan Deese October 14, 08:55 PMOctober 14, 08:55 PM

Alex Murdaugh, a South Carolina attorney who faces new charges involving insurance fraud, was arrested in Florida for allegedly withholding insurance settlement money from the sons of his dead former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

Murdaugh, 53, was arrested and taken into custody by agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Thursday following his release from a drug rehabilitation facility in Orlando. This comes six weeks after Murdaugh survived a gunshot wound to the head and later claimed he arranged for a man to kill him so his son could collect millions of dollars from a life insurance plan.

The attorney has been taken to Orange County Corrections, where he will reside until he appears for an extradition hearing. He faces two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, according to a news release from SLED. The case will be prosecuted by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

Satterfield was a housekeeper and nanny for the Murdaugh family for more than 20 years.

The Murdaugh family told her sons the 57-year-old woman tripped over dogs and fell down the steps at the Murdaugh’s home in Colleton County on Feb. 1, 2018, claiming it caused her death on Feb. 28, 2018.

Murdaugh allegedly told Satterfield’s sons at her funeral they would receive $500,000 in insurance settlements, even though the attorney managed to secure more than $4 million from insurers. Still, no settlement was sent to the sons, according to their lawsuit filed on Sept. 15. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division opened an investigation into Satterfield’s death and the handling of her estate on the same day.

“Since early September the families are dealing with the betrayal of trust and that their loved one’s death was used as a vehicle to enrich others over the clients,” said Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter, lawyers for Satterfield’s estate, in a statement to Fox News.


The attorney was previously arrested in mid-September on charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report at the Hampton County Detention Center. South Carolina authorities said Murdaugh admitted to having 61-year-old Curtis Edward Smith shoot him so that his son, Buster, could collect life insurance money from his father, a plan valued at an estimated $10 million.

Murdaugh’s attorneys, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, said the incident with Smith was “an attempt on his part to do something to protect his child,” referring to Murdaugh’s surviving son. Murdaugh’s wife and other son were found shot and killed on their family hunting property in June this year.

“Alex intends to fully cooperate with this investigation, as he has with the investigation into the murder of his wife and son,” the attorneys said Thursday. “He deeply regrets that his actions have distracted from the efforts to solve their murders.”

Murdaugh said his head was grazed by a bullet during the assisted suicide attempt.

Smith said the gun went off as he attempted to prevent his friend from shooting himself. Harpootlian and Griffin contend there was a “gunshot wound” and “Alex was not killed by” it, in a statement obtained by CBS News.

Smith faces charges including assisted suicide, assault and battery of a highly aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. He also faces charges of distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

Smith has denied scheming with Murdaugh, with his attorney claiming there was a “set up” involving his client, according to an interview with NBC’s Today.

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The Washington Examiner contacted SLED, Bland Richter LLP, and Harpootlian but did not immediately receive a response.

© 2021 Washington Examiner

Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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