Judge sets bond on new charges for man also accused in Murdaugh insurance plot
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The man indicted on charges connected to his association with former Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh faced a bond hearing Tuesday.
Curtis Smith is charged with four counts of money laundering; four drug charges including trafficking; three counts of forgery, and a charge of criminal conspiracy.
Judge Clifton Newman set bond at $250,000, five times the amount Smith’s attorney requested, because of the drug trafficking allegations.
“Where there’s drug trafficking there are related crimes – burglaries, robberies, many crimes generated, thefts, by people seeking to obtain drugs and feed their habits,” Newman said.
Prosecutors accuse Smith of helping Murdaugh launder more than $2.5 million over an eight-year period to obtain and distribute Oxycodone and methamphetamines.
They claim Smith cashed 437 checks between 2013 and 2021 for Murdaugh. The amounts were written small enough that banks were not required to report them, and the checks would sometimes be made out to associates of Smith, and Smith would then forge their signatures, according to court documents.
Despite this, Smith says he wasn’t making money on this arrangement.
“All the money that he talks about, Murdaugh got all that,” Smith told the judge. “I didn’t get none of that. I don’t have any money. All I have is the disability that I live off of. I live in a modest house on a small piece of property. My automobile is 10 to 15 years old. I don’t have any access to money like that.”
Smith’s lawyer argued that is a drug case and not directly related to the September incident where he’s accused of helping Murdaugh attempt suicide to get a life insurance payout for his beneficiaries.
Smith told the court he looks forward to clearing his name. His lawyer hinted there is more evidence to come.
Combined, the charges Smith faces carry a sentence of up to 122 years behind bars.
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