Disbarred attorney and accused killer Alex Murdaugh was indicted by a South Carolina statewide grand jury on multiple counts of income tax evasion this week – with prosecutors alleging he failed to report nearly $7 million of income over a nine-year period.
According to a news release from the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson, the 54-year-old Hampton, S.C. native failed to report $6.95 million of income “earned through illegal acts” between 2011-2019.
That failure deprived the state of an estimated $486,819. The indictment specifically alleges that:
- Between 2011-2019, Murdaugh received additional funds through an ongoing scheme to defraud his former law firm, PMPED and clients of PMPED of legal settlement proceeds.
- As the funds were “derived through Murdaugh’s ongoing illegal activity” and subsequently converted for his personal use, they are considered income.
- Murdaugh “willfully” failed to notify his personal accountant of this additional income which caused his State income tax to be underreported.
A quick glance at a chart created by our intrepid director of research, Jenn Wood, shows Murdaugh’s income peaked in 2012 when he reported an adjusted gross income of $5,285,616. This coincides with large settlements he obtained representing clients the State is alleging he fleeced. His gross income in the years following decreased dramatically. In 2019, Murdaugh reported $655,154 as his adjusted gross income and the State claims in the indictment that he failed to report $3,762,288 of income obtained through his alleged ongoing illegal activity that was converted to his personal use.
(Via: Jenn Wood)
According to S.C. Code of Laws (§ 12-54-44), it is a crime in the Palmetto State “to evade or defeat a tax or property assessment imposed by a title administered by the (state) or the payment of that tax or property assessment.”
On each felony count of willful evasion, Murdaugh faces up to five years in prison, fines of up to $10,000 as well as restitution and the cost of prosecution.
The state tax evasion charges point to yet another instance in which Murdaugh is all but assured of facing federal charges – although as of this writing, his former banker Russell Laffitte remains the only individual charged at the federal level in connection with this maze of financial fleecing.
Laffitte was convicted of bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and three counts of misapplying bank funds last month related to his role in Murdaugh-related scams. He has asked for a new trial, though, claiming his constitutional rights were violated via a last-minute reshuffling of jurors just prior to the verdict against him being handed down.
(Click to view)
(Via: Will Folks/ FITSNews l)
Murdaugh (above) is now staring down 99 individual charges related to “schemes to defraud victims” of nearly $9 million – and the state of South Carolina of nearly half a million dollars. All of those charges have been leveled by the statewide grand jury and are being prosecuted by Wilson’s office.
The statewide grand jury investigating Murdaugh is being conducted by Wilson’s office, the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the office of U.S. attorney Adair Ford Boroughs.
In addition to the financial crimes he stands accused of committing, Murdaugh is also staring down drug charges and allegations of obstruction of justice tied to a fatal 2019 boat crash involving his late son. He and one of his check cashers, Curtis “Eddie” Smith, are also facing fraud charges tied to a bizarre roadside shooting incident last Labor Day that attracted international headlines.
If convicted on all of these charges, Murdaugh could be imprisoned for a staggering 928 years – and that’s before we consider the murder charges he is facing in connection with the July 7, 2021 slayings of his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and their younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh.
Sometime after 8:44 p.m. EDT that evening, prosecutors claim Murdaugh fired a pair of shotgun blasts at his son – one to the head, the other to the arm and chest. Maggie Murdaugh was killed by multiple rounds from a semi-automatic rifle around the same time her son was killed. At least two of Maggie Murdaugh’s gunshot wounds were inflicted as she was lying wounded on the ground – consistent with initial reports we received of “execution-style” slayings.
As with anyone accused of committing any crime, Murdaugh is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system.
Neither of Murdaugh’s two primary attorneys – state senator Dick Harpootlian and veteran Columbia, S.C. trial lawyer Jim Griffin – were immediately available to respond to the filing of the new charges. There was also no immediate word as to when Murdaugh would be arraigned on the latest indictments.
Murdaugh has been held without bond at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Columbia, S.C. since last October.
THE INDICTMENTS …2022-gs-47-34-indictment-03178212xd2c78
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.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to address proactively? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.
SIGN UP …