Following the partial settlement of a high-profile wrongful death case involving 19-year-old Mallory Beach, the focus of this litigation – the origin story of the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga – is now turning to South Carolina’s most notorious villain, Alex Murdaugh.
More specifically, his money – assuming the former attorney, convicted killer and accused fraudster has any left.
Last week, court-appointed co-receivers John T. Lay and Peter M. McCoy, Jr. – who are charged with locating and overseeing the liquidation of Alex Murdaugh’s assets – filed a motion proposing a path forward. Lay and McCoy are asking for a special referee to oversee the allocation of Murdaugh’s liquidated assets in the hopes of settling all remaining eligible claims and judgments against him.
In doing so, the co-receivers have proposed a process and timeline. If approved by the court, claimants and creditors would be required to file their documentation no later than October 15, 2023. Such documentation must include a sworn statement including the nature of the claim, date of loss and any funds received so far towards satisfaction of the damages.
The filing makes it abundantly clear that there will likely not be enough money to go around – meaning the submission of a claim is no guarantee of payment.
“Despite extensive efforts to identify, locate, secure and marshal assets to the receivership estate, the co-receivers anticipate that the available receivership funds will be less than the total value of all the claims, judgments, and damages of the claimants and creditors who have filed their proof of claim by the applicable deadline,” the motion (.pdf) stated.
The proposed plan will attempt to mediate all eligible claims equitably, according to the filing. To that end, eligible claimants will “be provided any briefing in support, in opposition, and in reply that is prepared by all other eligible claimants and filed with the court.”
Eligible claimants will be required to file exhibits in support of their claim. They will also have an opportunity to file a memorandum in opposition to any claim made – followed by an opportunity for the claimant to reply.
Given the controversy swirling around one of Murdaugh’s recently retracted confessions of judgment, expect these memoranda to contain their fair share of fireworks.
The co-receivers have recommended the appointment of Walter Tollison III as special referee. They are also recommending Peter D. Protopapas be engaged to assist the special referee. The Co-Receivers state that the appointment of a Special Referee is necessary in part because there are no available masters-in-equity because of disqualification “or other circumstances.”
Other circumstances? Hmmm …
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According to this plan, once all claims are received the special referee would determine whether to conduct a hearing. And once the matters are decided, it is the special referee who would issue a written order allocating the receivership funds.
Claimants who fail to submit their proof by the deadline will be considered ineligible. However, they may still pursue judgments against Murdaugh outside of the receivership.
It is unlikely the co-receivers will be collecting any additional funds following the conclusion of this process. If they do, however, those funds would be available for the “potential benefit of both the eligible claimants and the ineligible claimants” by means of the same process.
In other words, if Murdaugh’s missing money is found … this entire process starts over.
A proposed scheduling order attached to the filing (.pdf) would have the special referee’s decision issued no later than January 15, 2024.
As with all proposals tied to Murdaugh’s assets, the proposed order must first be approved by S.C. circuit court judge Daniel Hall. Count on this news outlet to keep our audience up to speed on if and when that happens.
THE MOTION, APPENDIX …
(Via: S.C. Fourteenth Judicial Circuit)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...
Callie Lyons is a journalist, researcher, and author whose investigative work can be found in media outlets, publications, and documentaries all over the world – most recently in the Parisian newspaper Le Monde and a German documentary for ProSieben. Lyons also appears in Citizen Sleuth – a 2023 documentary exploring the genre of true crime.
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