COLUMBIA, SC — A prominent South Carolina attorney has been accused of stealing insurance deals for the sons of his late maid, state police said on Thursday.
Authorities said Alex Murdaugh was arrested at a drug rehab facility in Orlando, Florida, and has spent the past six weeks since his lawyers claimed he was shot in the head on the side of a deserted road near his home.
Gloria Satterfield, of the state’s Law Enforcement Division, said in a statement that the arrest of two felony charges of possession under false pretenses has involved Murdaugh’s housekeeper for decades.
Murdaugh said at his funeral in February 2018 that he would receive insurance compensation for and take care of Satterfield’s sons for his death, according to a lawsuit filed by his sons.
According to the lawsuit, Murdaugh managed to get more than $4 million in coverage from his insurers, but only told the sons about $500,000 and then didn’t send them a penny.
The Murdaugh family told their son that their mother tripped the family dog and died weeks later from his permanent injuries. The death was never reported to the Hampton County coroner, and he asked state police to investigate why he was not called to review what could be considered an accidental death.
Investigators said Murdaugh is being held at the Orange County jail in Florida pending his extradition. His lawyers promised at a bail hearing on different charges last month that if Murdaugh were charged with additional crimes, he would return to South Carolina without a fight.
Murdaugh’s son and wife’s deaths in June at their home in Colleton County have not been resolved. Murdaugh said he found Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her son, Paul, 22, shot dead after returning home after visiting his father in hospital.
State police have six investigations into Murdaugh, including deaths and September charges against Murdaugh, including insurance fraud and other charges related to trying to arrange for his own death so his surviving son could get a $10 million life insurance policy.
Murdaugh said he was hit with a bullet in this attempt. The man accused of shooting Murdaugh said the gun went off as he tried to prevent his friend from shooting himself.
Mark Keel, head of the state’s Law Enforcement Division, said Thursday’s arrest was just another step in the long process for justice in all investigations.
“As I’ve said before, we are determined to follow the facts wherever they take us, and we will not stop until justice is served,” Keel said.
Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.