Murdaughs

Russell Laffitte: Sentencing Set For Next Month

Convicted fraudster facing decades behind bars for role in Alex Murdaugh’s fleecings ..

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Convicted fraudster Russell Laffitte will be sentenced in federal court next month on the six financial crimes a jury found him guilty of committing last fall.

The 52-year-old Hampton, S.C. native was found guilty of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and three counts of misapplying bank funds. According to a notice filed in the federal court system on Sunday, he will be sentenced on those charges on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at the U.S. district courthouse in Charleston, S.C.

Laffitte will appear before U.S. district court judge Richard Gergel – the same judge who presided over Laffitte’s November 2022 trial and who has denied multiple appeals from the disgraced banker.

Laffitte, the former chief executive of Palmetto State Bank, was a co-conspirator of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh.

(Click to View)

Alex Murdaugh is led from the Colleton County courthouse on the evening of March 2, 2023 after a jury found him guilty of murdering his wife and younger son. (Brett Flashnick/ FITSNews)

Murdaugh was criminally charged by the feds in late May of this year, sparking an ongoing battle between state and federal prosecutors over the disposition of the financial charges against him, Laffitte and another alleged co-conspirator Cory Fleming – a former attorney from Beaufort, S.C.

Fleming has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Fleming, Laffitte and Murdaugh all have charges pending against them at the state level for their various schemes to defraud many of Murdaugh’s former clients.

Fleming is set to stand trial on those charges in September of this year, while Murdaugh is reportedly set to stand trial the following month.

Murdaugh admitted to most of these schemes when he testified in his own defense in February at his double homicide trial in Colleton County, S.C. A jury found Murdaugh guilty of murdering his wife and younger son – and he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison by judge Clifton Newman.

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How much federal time is Laffitte facing? As I noted in this post, if you go by the letter of the law (a.k.a. the United States Code), Laffitte is staring down nearly two centuries behind bars.

That’s not the way the federal system works, though. In the vast majority of white collar federal cases, prison time is doled out based on a recommended sentence that is tied to the most serious charge a defendant is found guilty of committing – with the sentences of the other charges usually served concurrently.

Given the six charges Laffitte is currently staring down carry a prison sentence of up to thirty (30) years apiece, that means he is realistically facing a maximum of three decades behind bars. Sources familiar with the federal sentencing process have told this news outlet they expect Laffitte to receive between eight to 14 years in a federal penitentiary. However, he could wind up seeing additional prison time in the event prosecutors contend he obstructed justice by offering statements offered under oath.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

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.

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