Lawsuit: Alex Murdaugh diverted former law firm’s money to personal account for several years
HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Prominent Hampton County Attorney Alex Murdaugh funneled money from his former law firm to a personal account for several years, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.
The law office of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, and Detrick (PMPED) filed the suit against Murdaugh and are looking to recover money he allegedly stole from the firm. According to the law firm, Murdaugh used a systematic scheme in which he moved funds that were owed to the firm and to their clients to a fictitious account.
PMPED officials say they are seeking to find out where the funds went and if any of it is hidden away. The firm said they have reimbursed all clients who suffered a loss as a result of Murdaugh’s actions while he was employed with them.
“In addition, the firm is requesting to know whether Murdaugh has entered into any agreements that involve future payments related to books, interviews or other publicity,” read a statement by the law firm.
“This is a very sad development,” read a statement by Jim Griffin, one of Murdaugh’s attorneys. “Alex holds every member of the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick law firm in very high esteem. He has pledged his full cooperation to the firm.”
Murdaugh was a partner with PMPED until Sept. 3, 2021 when the firm requested his immediate resignation. The law firm said they discovered that Murdaugh was converting client and firm money to his own personal use earlier that month.
Lawyers said the discovery of the scheme originated when the firm inquired about a fee owed to them from a case that Murdaugh worked on along with another law firm. On Sept. 2, 2021, lawyers reported a check was found on Murdaugh’s desk from the other law firm.
The suit states that a notation on the check indicated it was partial payment of the fees the firm were inquiring about. However, PMPED officials said the check was made payable to Murdaugh’s personal account and not PMPED.
The discovery prompted a review of prior settlement cases that Murdaugh resolved. According to the suit, the review showed numerous checks made payable to Murdaugh’s fictitious account.
Then on Sept. 3, Murdaugh was confronted with the information, and he admitted to converting money owed to PMPED and its clients to his own personal use, the suit states.
PMPED said a forensic accounting firm is continuing to review all of Murdaugh’s financial activities while he was employed with the firm.
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