Law firm Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED) has reported Alex Murdaugh to the police for his alleged misappropriation of more than $1million in company money.
It is the latest in a string of puzzling events involving the family dynasty after the South Carolina legal heir, whose wife and son were shot dead in June, checked himself into rehab on Monday for what is believed to be an opioid addiction after claiming he had been ‘shot in the head’ on Saturday.
Murdaugh stepped down from PMPED in Hampton, South Carolina, on Friday after being urged to do so by the firm’s bosses.
Details of the alleged fraud have not yet been made public, but the findings of a forensic accounting team hired by the law firm reportedly discovered the misuse of funds amounts to millions of dollars being squandered.
The findings led the law firm, which was founded by Murdaugh’s family, to file an official police report.
‘It is a ton of money. It is over $1 million,’ a legal source told The Raleigh Observer.
Meanwhile, Murdaugh’s attorney Jim Griffin confirmed Monday his client was seeking treatment for substance abuse, while law enforcement sources claimed that the disgraced legal heir is addicted to oxycodone.
Alex Murdaugh, 53 (top and bottom right), is in rehab after resigning from his law firm on Friday amid claims he misappropriated millions of dollars
A statement released by the law firm on Monday night said the matter of the ‘misappropriated’ funds had been referred to law enforcement and the South Carolina Bar.
‘A forensic accounting firm will be retained to conduct a thorough investigation,’ said the statement, which invited clients with questions to contact the law firm.
In response to further questions, PMPED attorney Danny Henderson said the firm would not be releasing any further statements, choosing instead to keep the details of the forensic accounting firm’s findings under wraps.
The day after resigning, Murdaugh, 53, called 911 claiming he had been shot in the head while changing a tire outside his home.
He said it was a drive-by shooting and that he didn’t get a glimpse of the assailant, but that it was likely to do with the murders of his wife and son which occurred three months ago and remain unsolved.
Murdaugh was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a ‘superficial’ wound to the head.
He was released on Monday, spoke to police again about what he claims happened to him and what the murders of his wife and son, and then checked himself into rehab.
It’s unclear what he is seeking treatment for or what kind of facility he is in, though law enforcement believe Murdaugh is battling an oxycodone addiction.
Murdaugh released a statement through his attorney Rick Harpootlian, who is also a State Senator, saying he was fighting ‘a long battle that has been exacerbated these murders.’
He did not deny the accusations, saying: ‘I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret.’
The law firm issued a statement on Monday night stating: ‘[Murdaugh] is no longer associated with PMPED in any manner.
‘His resignation came after the discovery by PMPED that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED standards and policies.
‘A forensic accounting firm will be retained to conduct a thorough investigation. This is disappointing news for all of us. Rest assured that our firm will deal with this in a straightforward manner.’
It adds to the mystery that has encircled the family since June, when he called 911 claiming he’d returned home to find his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, shot dead, their bodies dumped by the dog kennels on their sprawling South Carolina estate.
No one has been arrested for those deaths and police have never named any suspects.
Alex Murdagh is pictured, main, with his wife Maggie and son Paul (far left) who were shot dead in an unsolved double murder in June. Murdaugh claims he was shot in the head on Saturday night but survived. It’s unclear where his other son, Buster (right) is
The law firm that Murdaugh’s family founded has disabled its website on Tuesday after his resignation
They are also yet to establish a motive, but Paul was awaiting trial for the 2019 boating death of Mallory Beach, who died after being thrown from the boat he was drunk driving.
He had also been tied to the death of his housekeeper (who fell down the stairs in 2018) and the unsolved 2015 death of Stephen Smith, whose mother believes was beaten to death in a hate crime because he was gay.
The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret. I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated these murders. I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt including my family, friends and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.’
Alex Murdaugh on Monday night
Three days after their deaths, Murdaugh’s 81-year-old father Randolph Murdaugh III died ‘peacefully’ at his home.
Murdaugh released a statement through his attorney, Dick Harpootlian, on Monday morning saying that he was leaving his law firm and entering rehab.
‘The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life,’ the statement read.
‘I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret.
‘I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated these murders.
‘I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt including my family, friends and colleagues.
‘I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.’
In a statement to The New York Times, the firm said that it had hired a forensic accounting firm to investigate.
The company also said it had informed the police and the South Carolina Bar, although no arrests have been made.
A source told the paper that the missing cash was in the millions. Further details on an exact amount, how it had gone missing and how its disappearance was uncovered have yet to be shared.
The resignation and allegations that millions were misappropriated provides yet another astonishing twist in a story that has baffled South Carolina, and drawn national attention.
Murdaugh, 53, told police on Saturday that was shot by a gunman in a truck that drove past him as he changed a tire – and then made a U-turn.
TIMELINE OF MURDAUGH FAMILY MURDERS, DEATHS, LAWSUITS AND ARRESTS
Cops investigating the double murder have also reopened the case into a 2015 hit-and-run of teen Stephen Smith
2015: Teenager Stephen Smith dies
Smith was found on the side of the road. Police officially rule his death a hit-and-run but he had suffered blunt force trauma to the head
His mother has since shared her belief that she thinks he was killed in a hate-crime because he was gay
Case notes obtained by DailyMail.com revealed Paul’s older brother Buster was named multiple times in the investigation.
Police wanted to know more about his relationship with Stephen
Stephen’s mother said he had been having a ‘fling’
2018: Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield dies
Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Sattlerfield dies
Gloria died after ‘falling’ down the stairs in the family house
The family gave her family $500.000 in a wrongful death settlement but it’s unclear why her death was ruled to be their fault.
Alex Murdaugh was listed as the defendant in the lawsuit.
Satterfield was only 57 when she died. She left behind a husband and children.
2019: Mallory Beach dies being thrown from boat driven by Paul Murdaugh
Mallory Beach, 19, died in February 2019
Paul was charged afterwards because he’d been drinking and was behaving ‘belligerently’ that night.
He had been released on bond.
Other kids were on the boat but were unharmed.
One testified that they were scared to speak about the Murdaugh family because they knew how to ‘cover things up’.
That boy named Stephen Smith and the housekeeper, and claimed Paul pushed her
June 7 2021: Paul and Maggie are murdered
The mom and son were found shot dead at the family home in Hampton, South Carolina.
Alex Murdaugh is pictured with his son Paul and wife Maggie. Paul and Maggie were shot dead on June 7 on the family estate. No arrests have been made so far in their killings
Alex called 911 shortly after 10pm claiming he’d found them.
They had only been dead for an hour at most
Alex’s father Randolph Murdaugh III died ‘peacefully’ at home three days after Maggie and Paul were found shot dead
June 10 2021: Alex’s 81-year-old father Randolph Murdaugh III dies ‘naturally’ and ‘peacefully’ at home
September 3: Alex resigns from his lawfirm amid claims he misused funds
The firm has hired a forensic investigator to go through the accounts
September 4: Alex calls 911 claiming he’s been shot in the head in a drive-by.
He only had ‘surface’ wounds and was also able to call his brother
September 6: Alex releases a statement confirming his resignation from the firm and announcing he has entered rehab
Says ‘I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated these murders.’
Authorities have released few details about the incident which comes three months after the still-unsolved double murder of Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and son Paul.
He called 911 at around 1:30pm EST Saturday, Griffin said on Sunday, after Murdaugh was shot by a passing truck in Hampton County, South Carolina.
Around 45 minutes after making that call, Murdaugh then phoned his brother Randy.
Randy is said to have told Griffin that the truck initially passed by Alex Murdaugh without incident, as he changed the tire of his black Mercedes-Benz SUV on Salkehatchie Road.
Murdaugh’s attorney is Dick Harpootlian, who is a State Senator in South Carolina
But the driver of the truck then turned around and drove toward Murdaugh.
Moments later, the gunman inside the truck opened fire.
But no arrests have been made for either the alleged shooting against him or the murders of Maggie and Paul.
Paul himself had been facing trial for the boating death of a teenage girl who drowned after being thrown from the boat he was driving in February 2019.
The girl’s family issued a statement not long after Paul’s murder to insist they had nothing to do with it.
The statement added: ‘We expect Alex to recover and ask for your privacy while he recovers.’
Griffin told the Island Packet the widower had been on his way to Charleston hours before the shooting, but had ‘car trouble’, and stopped.
Griffin said Murdaugh’s brother, Randy, told him what had happened.
Three days after Paul and Maggie were found dead, Alex’s father, Randolph Murdaugh III, died.
He was the third generation to serve as 14th Circuit Solicitor, having held the position from 1985 to 2005.
Paul, 22, and Maggie, 52, were found dead from multiple gunshot wounds just after 10pm on June 7. Two different guns were used in the shootings.
The murders remain a mystery with no arrests, suspects or persons of interest named by authorities – and no one also formally ruled out of the investigation.
The case has fueled speculation nationwide as Paul, a student at the University of South Carolina, has been linked to at least two other mysterious deaths in the area.
Alex Murdaugh’s Mercedes-Benz SUV, which the 53-year-old was changing a tire on when a passenger in a passing truck shot him in the head, causing ‘superficial head wounds’
Alex’s son Paul, 22, (left) and wife Maggie, 52, (right) were found dead from multiple gunshot wounds on June 7 at the family hunting lodge
The bodies were said to be found near a dog kennel on the family’s property on June 7
Paul was awaiting trial on charges relating to the 2019 boat crash death 19-year-old woman Mallory Beach, who was thrown from the boat when Paul was drunkenly behind the controls.
He was also vaguely linked to the 2015 death of a teenager Stephen Smith whose body was found by the side of the road with severe wounds to the head. His mother has long-believed her son was murdered in a hate crime because he was gay, and that he’d been having a ‘fling’ with another teen that may have had something to do with it.
After Mallory’s death in 2019, some claimed that Paul may have had something to do with Smith’s death, though the claims never proved to be more than local rumors.
The Murdaughs’ housekeeper, Gloria Sattlefield, also died in a ‘trip and fall’ accident in 2018 which resulted in the family settling a wrongful death lawsuit.
The time of death was between 9pm and 9.30pm.
Murdaugh was interviewed by officers investigating his wife and son’s death on June 10, three days after the murders, and volunteered a sample of DNA to investigators.
Sources close to him have said he has a ‘cast iron alibi’ for the night of the killings.
A recording of the call he placed to 911 revealed how he sobbed to operators, pleading ‘my wife and child have been shot badly’.
He said neither Paul nor wife Maggie were breathing when he found them by the dog kennels of their estate, and that he had not seen anyone else in the area or noticed anything out of place.
On the night of the killings, police impounded a 2021 Chevrolet Suburban owned by Murdaugh’s law firm.
Stephen Smith, 19, was found dead in July 2015 in the middle of Sandy Run Road around 15 miles from the Murdaugh family’s hunting lodge.
DailyMail.com revealed that – despite investigators on the scene being convinced of foul play and finding no evidence of any vehicle involvement – the death was written off as a hit-and-run.
Police said he was struck by a vehicle while walking on a two-lane road after his car ran out of gas.
Stephen’s mother has always believed it was a hate crime, and that her son was beaten to death, rather than being struck by a vehicle, and his murder covered up.
DailyMail.com also revealed that investigators aggressively pursued tips questioning the dead boy’s ‘relationship’ with Paul’s older brother Richard ‘Buster’ Murdaugh, whose name came up numerous times in case-notes we obtained.
A survivor of the 2019 boat crash suggested in a deposition, unveiled in court last month, that Paul may have been involved in Smith’s death.
Connor Cook said in January 2020 he had lied about the night of the boat accident out of fear of what the Murdaughs would do, claiming they had gotten away with crimes in the past.
‘Anything they get in, they get out of. I’ve always been told that,’ Cook said in the deposition.
‘One was said that Paul [Murdaugh] had pushed his housemaid down the stairs, and she died, and nothing ever happened.
‘And another one, there was something that Paul was supposedly involved with a guy, got found beat up in the middle of the road, that they got out of.’
In 2018, Alex Murdaugh settled a wrongful death claim in the ‘trip and fall’ death of their 57-year-old housekeeper Gloria Satterfield.
Her family won $500,000.