Three weeks after federal prosecutors came down hard on the former banker at the heart of the financial crimes component of the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga, new charges have been formally filed against him.
A federal grand jury has issued a “second superseding indictment” against Russell Laffitte – containing one conspiracy count, one count of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud and three counts of misapplication of bank funds.
Laffitte was already staring down similar charges – but the superseding indictment beefs up the allegations against him, extends the time frame of his alleged misconduct, increases the amount of money he allegedly stole and expands the pool his of potential victims.
Superseding indictments have been used by both state and federal prosecutors working on the Murdaugh case to update charges as they obtain additional evidence about the alleged maze of criminality surrounding disgraced, disbarred 54-year-old attorney (and accused killer) Alex Murdaugh.
Laffitte – who appears to have been a key cog in Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes – was fired from his position as chief executive officer of Palmetto State Bank (PSB) back in January. Three months later, he was indicted on multiple criminal conspiracy charges at the state level in connection with his alleged role in the various Murdaugh-related fleecings. In late July, Laffitte was hit with a five-count federal indictment alleging bank fraud, wire fraud, misapplication of bank funds and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.
Additional federal charges were filed against the 51-year-old Hampton, S.C. native last month.
More charges are likely coming for Laffitte, too …
Earlier this month, prosecutors in the office of U.S. attorney Adair Ford Boroughs accused him of lying to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They also laid out new details of Laffitte’s alleged criminal activity.
Many of those details were contained in the first superseding indictment (.pdf) against Laffitte – which was issued on August 17, 2022 – but the second document adds more information about the alleged crimes.
Laffitte remains the first (and as of this writing, the only) person indicted at the federal level in connection with the Murdaughs – a powerful South Carolina family which for decades enjoyed near dictatorial control of a five-county region in the Palmetto Lowcountry.
“Mr. Laffitte stands ready to defend himself at trial in the beginning of November and prove his innocence,” Daniel and Austen noted. “We will address the issues in the second superseding Indictment in a soon to be filed motion.”
THE INDICTMENTS …Laffitte
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has many hats – including that San Jose Giants’ Pacific Coast League 75th Anniversary lid pictured above.
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