Murdaugh’s friend is accused of helping the insurance fraud scheme

A longtime friend of one-time South Carolina attorney Alex Murdoch is now facing 18 charges in an alleged plot to help steal more than 3 million from the family of Murdoch’s deceased domestic worker.

COLOMBIA, SC – South Carolina Attorney Alex Murdoch’s longtime friend is now facing 18 charges involving the theft of more than $ 3 million in insurance money from the family of Murdoch’s deceased domestic worker, according to newly sealed court documents.

Corey Fleming has been charged in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against Gloria Sutterfield, who worked with Murdoch for defrauding the boys, who died after falling into Murdoch’s home in 2018, suing Murdoch on behalf of the boys but eventually removing the insurance payouts to Murdoch and himself. .

Fleming also wrote checks from Sutterfield’s estate for his mortgage, credit card debt, tax payments, video games and other purchases, prosecutors said.

The boys said in the case, they did not get any money. They said Murdoch agreed to use Fleming as their attorney at their mother’s funeral and to sue him for unjust death, without disclosing that Fleming was his college roommate and godfather of at least one of Murdoch’s sons.

According to the latest allegations, Fleming, 53, chose not to tell the Sutterfield boys about the two settlements, which are protected by insurers. He instead knowingly transferred money from both contracts to a fraudulent bank account that handles similar settlements in the name of a company called Murdoch, authorities said.

According to a joint statement between Fleming and the boys ‘lawyers in October, Fleming had previously stated that he was assisting the sons’ new lawyers and maintained that he was “not a willing participant in Mr. Murdoch’s scheme but was used.”

Deborah Barbiera, a Fleming attorney, said in a statement that Fleming was “deeply disappointed” by the allegations. Barbier said Fleming was looking forward to defending himself in court and maintained that his client was “another victim of the host of crimes committed by Alex Murdoch.”

Fleming plans to turn himself in before the virtual bond hearing scheduled for Thursday, said Robert Keatel, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.

Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter, attorneys for the Sutterfield boys, said Wednesday that the grand jury did not explicitly believe Fleming’s defense that he was one of Murdoch’s victims. They said in a statement.

The grand jury has issued four new charges against Murdaugh. Murdaugh is currently facing 75 state charges, including conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, computer crime and now criminal conspiracy with Fleming, in total he has been charged with stealing approximately $ 8.5 million intended for victims of unjust death and insurance settlement. There are also allegations that he tried to arrange his own death so that his surviving son could collect a $ 10 million life insurance policy.

Murdoch, 53, has been in prison since October. A judge set his bail at 7 7 million and refused to reduce it, even as Murdoch’s lawyer argued that his bank accounts had been seized in a civil case and that he could not afford to buy underwear at Richland County Jail. He pinned his problems on a year-long drug addiction.

His wife, Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, were released on bail after being shot dead at the family home in June. Murdoch’s lawyers insisted he had nothing to do with it, urging investigators to work as hard as they could to find their killers and try to uncover Murdoch’s money.

Murdaugh’s great-grandparents and great-grandfather were all elected prosecutors in Hampton County, where his family law firm recently carried the Murdaugh moniker. The South Carolina Supreme Court has suspended Murdoch and Fleming from practicing law in the state.

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Liu is a corps member of the Associated Press / Report for the America State House News Initiative. Reporting for America is a non-profit national service program that puts journalists in the local newsroom to report on confidential matters.

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