Lawyer Alex Murdaugh (right) was arrested on Thursday morning for allegedly syphoning off a $4.3million settlement that was meant for the sons of his housekeeper Gloria Satterfield (left) (Pictures: AP)
Embattled lawyer Alex Murdaugh was arrested upon release from a rehab center, for allegedly syphoning off a $4.3million settlement intended for the sons of his housekeeper who died mysteriously.
Murdaugh, 53, was taken into custody on Thursday morning in Orlando, Florida, by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents.
He faces two felony counts of obtaining property through false pretenses in the misappropriation of settlement money for the 2018 ‘trip and fall’ death of his housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, 57, according to the Daily Mail.
Murdaugh’s wife Maggie found Satterfield bleeding on the front steps of their home and claimed that she tripped over their dogs. Weeks later, Satterfield died. However, her death was not immediately reported to the coroner and an autopsy was not conducted.
Satterfield’s death certificate states that the manner of her death was ‘natural’ – which is not consistent with her injuries from the apparent trip and fall.
Murdaugh allegedly defrauded Satterfield’s family of the wrongful death settlement, as they said they did not receive any of the funds.
Legal documents unveiled last week claim that Murdaugh created a fake firm named Forge to syphon $3.5million of the total funds when his insurance firms paid it out.
In a statement, SLED Chief Mark Keel said that Murdaugh’s arrest is the first step in bringing justice to people who have been ‘victimized’ by him and others.
‘Today is merely one more step in a long process for justice for the many victims in these investigations,’ Keel stated.
‘I want to commend the hard work and dedication that our agents have shown over the last four months. They will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of those who were victimized by Alex Murdaugh and others.’
Keel added that the agency is ‘committed to following the facts wherever they may lead us and will not stop until justice is served’.
Murdaugh was charged last month in a botched hitman scheme allegedly aimed at having his surviving son collect his $10million life insurance payout.
He posted bond last month on charges that he paid his former client Curtis Edward Smith to shoot and kill him for millions of dollars in insurance money. He was then admitted into a drug rehab center to deal with his 20-year addiction to opioids, which he blames for his financial fall.
Murdaugh is also a person of interest in the murders of his wife and other son.
The SLED will prosecute Murdaugh’s latest case. He is being held by Orange County Corrections and is expected to be extradited to South Carolina for a bond hearing.
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