Less than 24 hours after Alex Murdaugh was sued by his own brother Randy Murdaugh IV for a total of $90,000 of unpaid debt in money and equipment, the disgraced South Carolina attorney confessed judgment in the lawsuit.
This would essentially prioritize Alex’s debt to Randy ahead of a long line of alleged victims currently suing the man whose wife and son were murdered in June.
Alex Murdaugh is currently facing at least six lawsuits — two for both the 2019 boat crash that killed Mallory Beach, two for millions of dollars misappropriated/ stolen funds dating back to 2015 and two for unpaid debt. Murdaugh has only confessed judgment in Randy Murdaugh’s case, according to online court records.
A judgment typically comes in the form of a jury verdict or lawsuit settlement. However, in this case, Alex skipped the court process and agreed to the amount of debt owed. The “confession of judgment” allows the plaintiff to collect money — if it holds up in court.
So was Randy Murdaugh’s lawsuit just a masked asset transfer?
The “confession of judgment” was signed just hours after attorney Mark Tinsley, who is representing the Beach family, presented his arguments for a temporary injunction over Alex Murdaugh’s assets and to appoint two outside parties — attorney John T. Lay Jr. and former U.S. attorney Peter M. McCoy Jr. — to have control over Alex and Buster Murdaugh’s assets, which is known as “receivership” in court.
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On Tuesday, Judge Daniel Hall ordered an asset-freezing injunction and appointed the receivers to manage and recover funds that could pay alleged victims currently suing Murdaugh.
That ruling came just two weeks after another South Carolina judge denied Murdaugh’s bond for charges related to the Gloria Satterfield case. Those charges stem from an investigation by South Carolina attorneys Eric Bland and Ronald Richter — who uncovered a shocking paper trail showing how Murdaugh allegedly stole $3.6 million from Satterfield’s grieving family in her death settlement.
Randy’s lawsuit — and the confession of judgment immediately following — threw a strange twist in the never-ending Murdaugh Murders saga.
Alex Murdaugh, who is still in jail at the Richland County detention center, signed the confession document on Friday afternoon — despite the fact that on September 15, Alex Murdaugh granted his power of attorney to his son Buster Murdaugh.
Alex and Buster’s assets were frozen by the court following motions made by Tinsley, Bland, and Joe McCullough — who are all representing alleged victims of Alex Murdaugh. Alex’s latest move would essentially bump his brother’s claim above the victims’.
“He’s elevated the debt to his brother…to a higher priority in repayment than other debts he might owe,” an attorney familiar with the situation said. “So now his brother is in a priority class of creditors. He jumped in front of the Beaches and the Satterfields and the Cooks and whoever else.”
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However, several attorneys who spoke with FITSNews said that it’s highly unlikely that the confession of judgment will hold up in court.
“It’s clearly a fraudulent conveyance,” the attorney close to the situation told FITSNews. “It’s a brazen and blatant attempt to prefer a creditor over other legitimate creditors — because he’s family.”
Multiple attorneys who spoke with FITSNews said the move was not wise and ultimately will be self-sabotage by the Murdaugh camp.
“Alex and his family continue to confirm that they have and always will game the system,” Bland said. “They don’t think decency and the rules apply to them.”
Alex Murdaugh is the only individual in the Satterfield settlement scheme who hasn’t paid back a dime to Satterfield’s family.
Randy Murdaugh, who is also a lawyer who worked at the family’s law firm PMPED, filed the lawsuit against Alex at 5:07 p.m. on October 28.
In the lawsuit, Randy claimed that he loaned Alex $75,000 on Thursday September 2 — just two days before Alex’s botched suicide-for-hire incident and one day before the law firm started by his family allegedly confronted Alex about misappropriated funds.
According to his lawsuit, Randy Murdaugh paid $15,000 for Alex’s rehab stay. However, as Tinsley pointed out, Alex’s attorney Dick Harpootlian claimed in court twice that Alex Murdaugh’s insurance company was paying for his rehab. Harpootlian made this claim while arguing that his client was broke (an allegation that Tinsley questioned multiple times during Friday’s hearing).
Randy Murdaugh’s lawsuit also claimed that Buster “has already sold various assets belonging to Alex Murdaugh to pay other debts owed to Palmetto State Bank and the rehabilitation location,” including a tractor and rotary cutter Buster Murdaugh gave to Randy for a $43,500 debt coverage.
Soon after Randy filed his lawsuit, John E. Parker, who is a partner at Murdaugh family law firm — Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED), filed his own lawsuit Friday that claimed he loaned Alex Murdaugh the following amounts:
- $150,000 on March 5, 2021
- $77,000 on May 19, 2021
- $250,000 on July 25, 2021.
Parker said that Alex Murdaugh has not paid him back for any of the loans.
In Tinsley’s memo filed Monday, he argued that the two lawsuits “confirm that Buster Murdaugh and Alex are continuing to dispose of assets and cancel significant debts with apparent preference for family members without regard to potential claims of others.”
“Since March 2021, Alex Murdaugh’s family and friends have given him at least $550,000 which is unaccounted for,” Tinsley said in the memo. “These facts raise questions of where Alex Murdaugh spent this additional $550,000 to whom he has given it, for what purposes, and was any benefit received in return.”
Tinsley’s memo raised several big questions about the recently filed lawsuits and what they mean about Alex’s financial situation.
“If Alex Murdaugh is truly broke, it seems strange that his former law partner and his brother, who likely has some intimate knowledge of Alex Murdaugh’s assets, would take the time and effort to file a lawsuit against him,” Tinsley wrote.
Now that attorney John T. Lay Jr. and former U.S. attorney Peter M. McCoy Jr. have control over Alex and Buster Murdaugh’s assets, they have the power to sue for the recovery of those assets as well.
“The receiver will unwind every single transaction that Alex has done since 2015 when he opened the account and he will go to the people who have money (from the settlement) and they will have to disgorge that money,” Bland previously told FITSNews.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to [email protected].