Convicted killer Alex Murdaugh will plead guilty for the first time in court to federal charges that he stole millions of dollars from his clients.
Murdaugh, 55, is serving two consecutive life sentences for killing his wife, Maggie and son, Paul, at their Moselle hunting estate in 2021.
The struggling former lawyer insisted on the witness stand during his trial that he did not kill them and appealed his double murder conviction.
Prosecutors argued he did so because his theft millions of dollars were about to be uncovered and he hoped their deaths would provide him with sympathy and time to cover up the other crimes.
It will be the first time the former South Carolina lawyer has admitted guilt for a crime in court if he doesn’t change his mind before appearing before a judge.
The federal guilty plea would almost certainly result in a prison sentence, keeping Murdaugh behind bars even if his murder conviction appeal is successful.
Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges that he stole millions of dollars from his clients, court records show.
Murdaugh killed his 22-year-old son Paul and his 52-year-old wife Maggie (together center) at their Colleton County hunting lodge. The surviving son, Buster, is seen at left
Murdaugh is currently in protective custody in an undisclosed state prison after being convicted in March of the shooting deaths of his 22-year-old son, Paul, and his 52-year-old wife, Maggie.
Prior to the murders, federal and state investigators said Murdaugh stole millions of dollars from clients who suffered debilitating injuries and needed money for medical treatment.
Murdaugh, 55, is serving a life sentence for killing his wife and son in their home two years ago. But he insisted at his trial that he did not kill them and appealed his double murder conviction.
He was accused of stealing from his family’s law firm and helping run a drug ring to launder money.
Authorities said he had a friend kill him on the side of a lonely highway so his son would receive $10 million in life insurance. The shot only grazed Murdaugh’s head.
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 a conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Court records do not indicate whether there is an agreement to drop the charges in exchange for a guilty plea.
Each charge is punishable by at least 20 years in prison maximum. Some face a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Murdaugh’s attorneys did not comment on the filing Thursday.
But they said after he was indicted on 22 federal charges in May that Murdaugh was assisting federal investigators and the charges would be “promptly resolved without a trial.”
Prosecutors say he decided to kill them because his theft millions of dollars were about to be discovered and he hoped their deaths would bring him sympathy and time to uncover a cover-up.
Prior to the murders, federal and state investigators said Murdaugh stole millions from clients with debilitating injuries in need of money for medical treatment.
The federal allegations are similar to the charges Murdaugh still faces in state court.
They include the theft of approximately $4 million in insurance settlements intended for the family of Gloria Satterfield, a longtime housekeeper who died in a fall at the Murdaughs’ home, according to the indictments.
Longtime friend and now ex-lawyer Cory Fleming helped Murdaugh steal the money, investigators said.
Fleming was sentenced earlier this month to nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty.
Other indictments say Murdaugh and a banker friend, Russell Laffitte, worked together to withdraw settlement money from their clients’ accounts, prosecutors said.
Laffitte was convicted in November of six charges of wire and bank fraud. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and appealed.
Murdaugh is also accused of creating a bank account with a name similar to that of a legitimate company that handled settlements to steal money from customers.
He is currently awaiting trial on a hundred other state charges. In addition to theft, there are also insurance fraud, drug trafficking and money laundering, tax evasion and theft.
Alex Murdaugh’s college friend Cory Fleming (pictured) has been sentenced to 46 months in jail for helping a former lawyer steal millions from his late housekeeper
Fleming has admitted helping Murdaugh defraud more than $4.3 million from the family of Gloria Satterfield (pictured) as part of a wrongful death settlement
A preliminary hearing on those charges will likely take place the week before the federal guilty plea and would mark Murdaugh’s first appearance outside of jail since being escorted out of the Colleton County courtroom in handcuffs, chains and a prison jumpsuit on March 3.
Murdaugh has only been seen publicly once since then in a series of photos taken by the camera of his prison-issued tablet computer, with the system confirming his identity so he can use the device to pass monitored calls, watching approved entertainment, reading books or taking photos. video course.
Photos showed Murdaugh sometimes shirtless and wearing reading glasses in his cell.
Prison authorities first released the photos under the State Archives Public Access Act, but after a brief splash of publicity they decided that since the photos were taken for security reasons and not as an official measure, they should not have been published under the Freedom of Information Act.