Failed Polygraph Jeopardizes Alex Murdaugh’s Federal Plea Agreement

Feds searching for $6 million in assets amid ongoing grand jury investigation …

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A motion filed by federal prosecutors six days ahead of Alex Murdaugh‘s latest sentencing hearing indicates the disbarred South Carolina attorney, disgraced former badge-holder, convicted double-murderer and confessed fraudster has failed a polygraph examination required in connection with his plea agreement.

Accordingly, the feds want to hold Murdaugh in breach of that agreement – which he signed back in September.

Murdaugh’s deal on the nearly two dozen charges – which included conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering involving more than $10 million he admittedly stole or defrauded from former clients — was contingent upon him providing “full, complete, and truthful information about all criminal activities about which he has knowledge and to submit to a polygraph examination at the government’s election.”

“Murdaugh has failed to cooperate as required under the plea agreement,” prosecutors noted, asking U.S. district court judge Richard Gergel to find him in violation of the deal and to relieve them of their obligations.

Among those obligations? An apparent agreement which would have allowed Murdaugh to serve whatever federal time he received from Gergel “concurrently” – or at the same time – as his state sentence for the same financial crimes.



That revelation enraged attorney Eric Bland, who represents several of the victim’s of Murdaugh’s financial crimes.

“That is an absolute slap in the face to Alex Murdaugh‘s victims,” Bland wrote on X. “And a complete betrayal of the justice they would be entitled to.”

“The feds were played by Murdaugh,” Bland added, referring to the original agreement as “shameful.”

Why does the timing of Murdaugh’s federal sentence matter? Because were it to run concurrent with his state sentence, there’s an outside chance he could breathe free air if his murder convictions were vacated. If the federal sentence is ordered to run consecutive to his state sentence (i.e. were it to immediately begin upon his release from state prison), Murdaugh would effectively be facing a life sentence no matter what happens with the appeal of his murder convictions.

News of Murdaugh’s failed polygraph was first reported on Tuesday afternoon by reporter John Monk of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper. According to the motion, Murdaugh’s polygraph examination followed four separate interviews by the U.S. attorney’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The interviews – which sought to locate more than $6 million in Murdaugh assets that remain unaccounted for – are what led to the polygraph examination.

The polygraph examination targeted two separate “series” on two topics of interest, according to the filing. The FBI polygraph examiner determined that there was deception indicated on both series, meaning Murdaugh failed the examination. 




What those topics of interest were remains a mystery as prosecutors filed a separate motion to seal the exhibits as they relate to an “ongoing grand jury investigation,” as well as allegations of criminal activity against others.

The motion to seal the exhibits states, “it is necessary to protect the integrity of its investigation, prevent disclosure of an ongoing grand jury investigation, prevent the potential for tampering with evidence and witnesses related to the investigation, and protect the identities of witnesses, subjects, and targets of the ongoing investigation.”

Clearly the federal probe into the web of corruption surrounding Murdaugh’s activities is far from over … although it is not immediately clear which angles prosecutors are exploring.

Murdaugh’s federal sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place at 10:00 a.m. EDT on April 1, 2024 at the Waring Judicial Center in Charleston, S.C. Even before today’s filing from prosecutors, Gergel had already indicated Murdaugh could be facing a much stiffer federal sentence than he or his attorneys anticipated, submitting a notice last week letting them know he “may consider at the time of sentencing an upward variance from the proposed guideline range” presented by federal probation officials.


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In addition to a lengthy prison term, restitution is expected to be a part of Gergel’s sentence – which makes locating the $6 million in unaccounted for assets a top priority for federal prosecutors.

The 22-count federal grand jury indictment filed against Murdaugh on May 23, 2023 covered an abundance of financial crimes committed from July 2011 through October 2021. These crimes deprived law firm clients of funds they were due – while illegal loans from their accounts were made with the assistance of former Palmetto State Bank chief executive officer Russell Laffitte.

Laffitte, incidentally, is appealing his conviction from federal prison – where he is serving a sentence of seven years.

Stay tuned to this media outlet for updates as Murdaugh’s federal sentencing hearing approaches …



(U.S. District Court)



(U.S. District Court)



Jenn Wood (Provided)

Jenn Wood is FITSNews’ incomparable research director. She’s also the producer of the FITSFiles and Cheer Incorporated podcasts and leading expert on all things Murdaugh/ South Carolina justice. A former private investigator with a criminal justice degree, evildoers beware, Jenn Wood is far from your average journalist! A deep dive researcher with a passion for truth and a heart for victims, this mom of two is pretty much a superhero in FITSNews country. Did we mention she’s married to a rocket scientist? (Lucky guy!) Got a story idea or a tip for Jenn? Email her at



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Kidd Top fan March 26, 2024 at 6:50 pm

I mean he already admitted all of this didn’t he? So what does any of this mean or matter..Can’t tell the truth twice!

Barbara Huckaby Top fan March 26, 2024 at 7:28 pm

@Kidd He hasn’t come clean about where all the money he stole went, and as this article says he failed the polygraphs meant to determine if he divulged all his crimes to authorities like he was supposed to do according to the plea deal he signed.

Pants on Nuclear Explosion March 27, 2024 at 8:40 am

It’s not often when the polygraph testing equipment goes off the charts before the subject even sits down.

Anonymous March 27, 2024 at 10:17 am

We all know that Murdaugh is a pathological liar and narcissist. Based on scrutiny of court records, Murdaughs behavioral history, and the facts known today, there is no doubt that Murdaugh will continue to lie until he has no breath, he has millions tucked away “somewhere, out there,” and that there is other accomplices other than Laffitte and Fleming. Think of how self righteous he tried to come across ss during trial, knowing full well he still had plenty of secrets and plenty of money hidden away.

His life as an “attorney and “family man” was exploited as a cover for his actual life of corruption and criminality. His father and grandfather taught him well. His fatal flaw was that he thought he could get away with anything and everything. I trust that the other accomplice(s) will be charged and pay the due penalties, and the rest of the millions Murdaugh has hidden away are located and dispersed to his victims who received no compensation or received less than they should have because the “money ran out”.

I firmly believe that it was Murdaugh who tried set his own house on fire at 515 Holly St Ext. Hampton SC in 2009 (officially determined as an act of arson). Curious how Murdaugh is paying for his attorneys, since they once said they needed $160,000 out of his retirement fund but were refused. And how is it that Murdaugh’s law firm PiMPED (now known as Parker Law Group) is still in business after their complete negligence regarding everything Murdaugh.

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VERITAS Top fan March 27, 2024 at 11:03 am

You will want to see the You Tube video of Will Folks’ interview with Lindsey Edwards. She is a former trafficked sex worker who serviced AleX Murdaugh and said he was violent during those encounters, including choking her. She states that the traffickers used threats of violence against her, her child and other family members, to keep her from leaving the trafficking operation. She says the network of clients included powerful men inside and outside the Palmetto state, including attorneys, judges, SLED agents, police officers and others, and some of those clients provided inside information to the traffickers about potential stings, names being used by undercover agents, etc.


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