Disgraced South Carolina lawyer and convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh appeared in Beaufort County court Tuesday to be sentenced for his financial crimes.

Murdaugh, who is serving two life terms in prison for the 2021 murders of his wife and son, agreed to plead guilty to 22 counts — including breach of trust, money laundering, forgery, and tax evasion — in exchange for a 27-year prison sentence. 

“There were so many individuals that were trusting of Alex Murdaugh, and that is how this decade-long scheme was able to take place, and ultimately, we had people who came to Mr. Murdaugh for help — people that he told he was going to help — and, in many instances, there was significant funds that Mr. Murdaugh paid to those individuals, but that was how the scheme usually worked. It was a slight of hand,” South Carolina prosecutor Creighton Waters began on Tuesday.

He added that Murdaugh’s trustworthiness, “power” and “influence” among community members, lawyers and banks in the area helped him get away with the financial crimes.

ALEX MURDAUGH TAKES PLEA DEAL TO COVER MOUNTAIN OF FINANCIAL CRIMES

The victims and families of victims impacted by Murdaugh’s financial crimes were present in the courtroom on Tuesday.

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The financial crimes include Murdaugh’s scheme to steal $4 million in life insurance funds from the estate of his late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

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In February 2018, the Murdaugh family reported that Satterfield tripped and fell on some steps at Moselle, the Murdaughs’ estate, and she later died in a hospital. 

Gloria Satterfield and Alex Murdaugh

An autopsy was never conducted, and Satterfield’s death certificate said she died of natural causes, which her family and Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper later disputed as her injuries were inconsistent with that conclusion.

Prosecutors say Murdaugh secured $4.3 million in insurance settlements for Satterfield’s family after her death, but the former attorney kept the money for himself, never alerting the family that he had secured a payout.

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“In the Satterfield case, he stole every dime, every dime,” Waters said during the Nov. 17 proceeding.

Alex Murdaugh arrives in court in Beaufort

Her sons were able to recover a multi-million-dollar settlement from their mother’s death that was rightfully theirs but wanted to hold the former personal injury lawyer accountable for his crimes during a trial that was set to begin Monday.

Instead, Murdaugh took the plea deal. 

He previously pleaded guilty to 22 counts of financial fraud and money laundering in federal court.

His defense attorneys, Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian, have filed a motion to overturn the guilty verdict in Murdaugh’s double-murder case based on allegations that Colleton County court clerk Becky Hill had tampered with jurors by trying to sway them toward a conviction. She has denied the allegations.

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