Alex Murdaugh Sentenced To 40 Years On Federal Financial Crimes

Disgraced, disbarred attorney also ordered to pay $8.8 million in restitution to his victims …

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Disbarred and disgraced former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to 480 months – or four decades – in federal prison on Monday morning. The sentence follows his guilty plea last fall on two dozen federal charges including conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering tied to more than $10 million he admitted to stealing from former clients.

The convicted killer was also ordered to pay nearly $8.8 million in restitution to his many financial victims.

Murdaugh’s federal sentence will run concurrent with his state sentences. The 55-year-old former assistant solicitor is currently serving two life sentences for the murders of his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh.  Separately, he is serving 27 years in state prison as part of a negotiated plea for 22 state charges involving his financial schemes.

Although Murdaugh had signed a plea deal related to the federal financial offenses in September, the week preceding his sentencing hearing was contentious after he allegedly failed to fully disclose “hidden assets” while under polygraph examination. This alleged failure resulted in a prosecutorial motion to revoke Murdaugh’s plea deal.

Murdaugh’s team responded with its own motion asserting “legitimate questions as to whether the government intentionally manipulated the results (of the polygraph) to void the plea agreement and achieve the prosecutors’ stated desire to ‘ensure that he’s never a free man again.”

The parties ultimately agreed that the deal would stand, without prosecutors being obliged to make a sentencing recommendation, prior to Murdaugh’s sentencing hearing. 



Two weeks ago, U.S. district court judge Richard Gergel informed parties he was considering an upward variation from federal sentencing guidelines.  Defense Attorney Jim Griffin argued for leniency, referencing the recent federal sentencing of fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried, who was convicted of a multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency fraud scheme – but receive a comparatively short 25-year sentence. Gergel then reminded Griffin of fraudster Bernie Madoff’s 150-year sentence.

Murdaugh reflected extensively on his criminality while addressing the court – and his victims.

“I am filled with sorrow, I am filled with remorse, I am filled with guilt,” he said. “I also spend a lot of time trying to think about how in the world I might ever make it up for the things that I’ve done.”

Murdaugh also spoke to his addition to opioids.

“As I stand here today I am 937 days clean, and I am very proud of that fact,” he said. “I do believe my addiction contributed to me doing some of the things that I did.  I hope with every cell in my existence that I would have not done the things that I did had I not been addicted to opiates, and while I hope that, I also know for a fact that I knew what I was doing was wrong.”



Assistant U.S. attorney Emily Limehouse told Gergel the government intended to argue for Murdaugh’s sentences to run consecutive to his state charges, but she quickly pivoted her arguments after Gergel’s announcement at the beginning of the hearing that he intended to give Murdaugh concurrent sentences.

Prosecutors asked Gergel to impose a thirty-year consecutive sentence, saying they didn’t “believe he is capable of living a law-abiding life as a member of society.”

Two victims of Murdaugh’s financial machinations addressed him prior to sentencing. Tony Satterfield, the son of Murdaugh’s long time housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield – whose insurance settlement proceeds Murdaugh stole – told Murdaugh he believed there is still hope for him.

“A lot of people say there is no hope, but there is, and it starts with the Gospel,” Satterfield said.

Pamela Pinckney, mother of Hackeem Pinckney, the deaf athlete who sustained catastrophic injuries during a car crash who also saw settlement money stolen, had a similar Christian message for Murdaugh.

“I love you with the love of Jesus Christ.” Pinckney said.

In sentencing Murdaugh, Gergel repeatedly emphasized the heightened moral culpability of attorneys who abuse their law licenses – saying Murdaugh’s punishment must “demonstrate the serious consequences to other attorneys and fiduciaries.”

“The truth here is that this is a reprehensible crime that deserves the most serious sentence” he said.

Federal convicts are only required to serve eighty-five percent of their sentences, so Murdaugh will actually wind up serving 34 years – or a dozen years more than his state sentence. This means Murdaugh is set to spend the vast majority of his remaining natural life behind bars – even in the event his legal team is able to overturn his two murder convictions.

In addition to his federal prison term, Murdaugh was also ordered to pay $8,762,731.88 in restitution, which U.S. attorney Adair Ford Boroughs told reporters her office would assist in recovering in a post-sentencing press conference. When asked about the possibility of an investigation involving another Murdaugh connected attorney, Boroughs declined to comment, citing federal policy of not discussing potential ongoing investigations.



(Via: Travis Bell)

Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.



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The Colonel Top fan April 1, 2024 at 2:11 pm

DAAAYUM! Looks like Ol’Ellick is damned if he do and damned if he don’t! Even if he were to somehow beat the rap on the murder charges appeal (he won’t) he’d still spend the next 20 or so years in the state hoosgow on the financial crimes plea (no appeal) and if he somehow lived through that, he’d have another 20 or so in the federal slammer on their financial crimes plea.

Where are all the “he dindonuffin” folks now? He’s admitted to all (most) of the financial crimes – what makes you think he wouldn’t stoop to murder to cover them up? The only way this could get any better is if he or one of his sentenced coconspirators would fess up and take the rest of his cabal down.

paige ward Top fan April 1, 2024 at 2:31 pm

Have mercy!!!! Well deserved!!! Just like OJ ain’t nobody in the family tryng to find the “real killer/s” of the Mama, sister in law, brother, son, nephew….. umm…..

River1187 Top fan April 1, 2024 at 9:13 pm

Exactly, where’s the search for the “real killers”?…

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VERITAS Top fan April 2, 2024 at 1:10 am

It is quite satisfying to know that Alex will most likely spend the rest of his miserable and worthless life in a prison without air conditioning. Remember when testifying he said the reason he didn’t (but he did) go down to the dog kennel (the night of the murders) was because he didn’t want to sweat? Must feel like hell in there much of the year!


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