Alex Murdaugh, a former South Carolina lawyer already serving two life sentences for the murders of his wife and son, is set to be sentenced in Beaufort County court for his financial crimes. Murdaugh agreed to plead guilty to 22 counts, including breach of trust, money laundering, forgery, and tax evasion, accepting a 27-year prison term. This plea was confirmed during a hearing on November 17, where Murdaugh admitted to his wrongdoing.
The financial charges against Murdaugh involve embezzling $4 million in life insurance funds from the estate of his late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. Satterfield’s death in February 2018, initially reported as an accident at the Murdaugh family estate, Moselle, later raised suspicions due to the lack of an autopsy and inconsistencies in her death certificate.
Prosecutors revealed that Murdaugh had secured $4.3 million in insurance settlements for Satterfield’s family following her death but retained the funds for himself. South Carolina prosecutor Creighton Waters highlighted that Murdaugh had stolen the entirety of the settlement. Satterfield’s sons subsequently recovered a multi-million-dollar settlement from their mother’s death.
In addition to the state charges, Murdaugh had previously pleaded guilty to federal charges of financial fraud and money laundering. Meanwhile, his defense attorneys, Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian, have filed a motion to overturn his double-murder conviction. They allege that Colleton County court clerk Becky Hill attempted to influence jurors toward a conviction, a claim Hill denies.