Alex Murdaugh indicted on new money laundering charges, theft from brother and law firm
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A South Carolina Grand Jury issued new indictments against disbarred lawyer Alex Murdaugh, Spencer Anwan Roberts and Jerry K. Rivers.
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Murdaugh is indicted for four counts of Obtaining Signature or Property by False Pretenses Value $10,000 or More, two counts of Money Laundering Value $20,000 - $100,000, one count of Money Laundering Value $100,000 or More, two counts of Computer Crime Value More Than $10,000.
Spencer Roberts is indicted for one count of Obtaining Signature or Property by False Pretenses Value $10,000 or More, one count of Money Laundering Value $20,000 - $100,000, one count of Computer Crime Value More Than $10,000, and one count of Insurance Fraud.
Jerry Rivers is indicted for Obstruction of Justice.
The indictment from Colleton County charged Murdaugh with misappropriating funds rather than paying fees into his law firm as required. This was done under a bank account created by him under the name of ‘Richard A Murdaugh Sole Prop DBA Forge.’
The indictment said the account was created to misappropriate funds by making the illusion that money was being paid to a legitimate settlement company. A check of $91,867.50 in legal fees due to Murdaugh’s were instead deposited into this account. This was done without informing the rest of the firm and was used for his personal expenses such as credit card payments, overdraft charges, transfers to family members and checks.
The indictment from Hampton County said on May 16, 2017, Murdaugh defrauded his brother of $121,358.63. This happened after the accounting office for the law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Elzroth and Detrick, P.A. (PMPED) mistakenly wrote a repayment loan check to him that was intended for his brother.
The indictment said Murdaugh then went to the accounting office and falsely had them write a new check for him, void the original one and then took the funds for his own use.
In total, Murdaugh has 18 indictments that contain 90 charges against him. The Grand Jury has indicted him on schemes that involve defrauding victims of up to $8,789,447.77.
Roberts is accused of fraudulently obtaining $20,000 in federal funds under the Paycheck Protection Program from February 25, 2021 through March 5, 2021. The indictment said he did this by representing himself as a qualified business named ‘Insurance Agency or Brokerage’ firm that did not exist.
Investigators said he then used online banking transfers and structured withdrawals to avoid detection by financial institutions and the law.
The indictment against Rivers said he took a cell phone on Aug. 10, 2022 from a scene where law enforcement was conducting a search that belonged to someone who’d been arrested.
Attorney General Alan Wilson said the crimes in the indictments have the following punishments:
- Obstruction of Justice is punishable by up to 10 years in prison
- Obtaining Signature or Property by False Pretenses, Value $10,000 or more is a felony and punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $500
- Money Laundering, Value $20,000 - $100,000 is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000 or twice the value of the transactions, whichever is greater
- Money Laundering, Value More Than $100,000 is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000 or twice the amount at issue
- Computer Crime, Value More Than $10,000 is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000
- Insurance Fraud, Value More Than $10,000 but less than $50,000 is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000
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