Three days after attorneys filed bombshell motions asking the court to lock up and recover Alex and Buster Murdaugh’s assets, a hearing has been scheduled in the case.
On Friday, Oct. 29, Judge Daniel Hall will hear motions filed by Mark Tinsley, who is representing Mallory Beach‘s family, Eric Bland, the attorney who found a paper trail of evidence showing how Murdaugh allegedly stole $3.4 million from Gloria Satterfield’s grieving family, and Joe McCulloch, who is suing the Murdaughs on behalf of boat crash survivor Connor Cook.
The hearing will be held at noon Friday at the Chesterfield County Courthouse, which is about three hours northeast of Hampton, South Carolina.
Tinsley — who is representing Mallory Beach’s mother Renee Beach in the wrongful death lawsuit against Alex Murdaugh, his son Buster Murdaugh, and Parker’s gas station — first filed the motion to freeze Alex Murdaugh’s assets on Friday. Judge Hall has presided over the Beach case for years now.
In the motion, Tinsley asks the court to appoint two outside parties — attorney John T. Lay Jr. and former U.S. attorney Peter M. McCoy Jr. — to have control over Alex and Buster Murdaugh’s assets, which is known as “receivership” in the court. This would give Lay and McCoy broad powers to not only lock up Alex and Buster Murdaugh’s assets, but to sue for the recovery of their assets as well.
“We hope that this will stop some of the wasting of assets that appears to be occurring and will begin the process of figuring out what has happened to date,” Tinsley told FITSNews.
The motion was filed two days after FITSNews founding editor Will Folks exclusively reported that Buster Murdaugh was spotted gambling at the blackjack table in Las Vegas just hours after his father was denied bond in a Columbia, South Carolina courtroom.
Buster’s Vegas vacation was mentioned in Tinsley’s motion, among other suspicious financial moves made by the Murdaugh family recently. On September 15, Alex Murdaugh granted his power of attorney to his son Buster Murdaugh.
According to Tinsley’s motion, Buster was immediately granted “broad powers“ to perform all and every act and thing whatsoever”, including “to sell, assign, convey, pledge, mortgage and encumber… and generally manage, any and all property, both real and personal which [Alex Murdaugh] may own or acquire in the future from any source.”
Other financial moves by the Murdaugh family mentioned in the motion include:
- Alex/ Buster recently listed his $115,000 boat for sale.
- Buster “acted as Alex Murdaugh’s agent and executed a satisfaction of a mortgage with a face value of $970,354.00 on a 42 acre property located in Hampton and Colleton Counties.
- Alex Murdaugh’s share in a hunting club called Green Swamp in Jasper County sold on Oct. 1.
- The family’s home on Edisto Island is recently vacant and will be auctioned if back taxes aren’t paid.
At Alex’s bond hearing on Tuesday, prosecutor Creighton Waters with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office not only told the court about how Alex Murdaugh allegedly stole $3.4 million from Gloria Satterfield’s wrongful death settlement — he also said that the disgraced lawyer transferred $300,000 to his father, former solicitor Randolph Murdaugh and gave more than $735,000 to himself.
“Questions remain as to where, how and to whom the balance of monies were transferred,” Tinsley said in the motion. “Certainly if Alex Murdaugh is capable of apparently diverting stolen assets in this manner, he is also capable of diverting legitimate assets.”
In the motion, Tinsley emphasized that Murdaugh can’t be trusted considering his recent assisted suicide-for-hire plot and the Gloria Satterfield insurance scheme he allegedly devised in 2018.
“These thefts and attempted thefts are crimes of moral turpitude,” Tinsley said in his motion.
Bland said that in South Carolina, receivers are granted extremely broad powers over assets.
“A receiver can walk in any business or bank with an order and say ‘hand over everything you got, okay?’” Bland said. “This is essentially going to lock Alex to the point he won’t even be able to buy a cup of coffee.”
Because prosecutors discovered that Alex (allegedly) opened up the fake “Forge” account in 2015, the receiver will have the power to trace and recover all of the $3.4 million from the Satterfield settlement, according to Bland.
Attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin — who are currently representing Alex — were hired to defend Paul Murdaugh in the boat crash in either in March or April 2019, which would be soon after he transferred a large amount of the settlement money to his own account, according to prosecutors.
Bland said the receivers will be able to find out whether or not Griffin and Harpootlian were paid in fees from the Satterfield settlement.
“The receiver will unwind every single transaction that Alex has done since 2015 when he opened the account and he will go to the people who have money (from the settlement) and they will have to disgorge that money,” Bland said. “Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin should look long and hard on whether they want to start spending the attorney fees they are getting (from the Murdaughs).”
PMPED settlement with the Satterfields?
Bland told FITSnews Monday morning that the Satterfield family and Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED) have “reconciled their differences” in the case and he will not be suing them.
Bland refused to answer other questions about PMPED’s involvement, but it could be assumed that some sort of secret settlement was reached between the two parties over the weekend.
Three weeks ago, Bland published damning documents that show how PMPED employees — aside from Alex Murdaugh — were aware of the settlement.
Documents filed on October 5 show emails and letters from Alex Murdaugh and his paralegals acting as representatives of the estate of Gloria Satterfield in the wrongful death settlement.
Ronald Richter, who is also representing the Satterfield family, called out PMPED in court on Tuesday for claiming on their website that they have restored the money Alex stole from clients.
Since Bland and Richter filed a lawsuit against Alex Murdaugh and his co-conspirators on behalf of the Satterfield family:
- SLED opened an investigation into both Satterfield’s death and death settlement
- Palmetto State Bank employee Chad Westendorf, who acted as the family’s personal representative in the scheme, paid $30,000 back to the Satterfield family for the money he took in fees.
- Fleming, Alex Murdaugh’s attorney and best friend who acted as Satterfield’s family attorney in the settlement scheme, along with his former law firm Moss Kuhn and Fleming (which apparently is just Moss and Kuhn now) settled and agreed to return all fees paid to the law firm and the firm’s malpractice carrier agreed to pay the full limits of coverage.
- Fleming’s law license was suspended by the the South Carolina Supreme Court.
- Alex Murdaugh was charged with two felonies in the insurance fraud scheme and denied bond.
Bland said that he and his law partner Ronald Richter are moving full speed ahead to hold all parties involved in the settlement accountable. They continue to sue Palmetto State Bank and Alex Murdaugh and will consider “additional legal claims against additional parties whose conduct contributed to the losses of the Satterfield family.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an award-winning journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your story ideas, comments, suggestions and tips to [email protected].
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