Disgraced former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, who has been accused of killing his wife and son and being involved in financial crimes and fraud schemes, now faces a new set of evasion charges fiscal
Murdaugh was indicted by a South Carolina state grand jury on nine counts of willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax, state Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a news release Friday.
Murdaugh allegedly failed to declare more than $6.9 million in income between 2011 and 2019 that he “earned through illegal acts,” according to the statement. The former attorney owes more than $486,000 in state taxes, the statement added.
According to the indictments, Murdaugh earned these millions through “an ongoing scheme to defraud” his former law firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED) and his clients of the proceeds of legal settlements.
“Funds derived from Murdaugh’s ongoing illegal activity became personal use and as such are considered earned income,” the indictments say.
CNN has reached out to Murdaugh’s attorney for comment on the new charges.
The Murdaugh case first gained widespread national attention in early September 2021, after the once-prominent attorney was shot in the head on a highway but survived. Court documents later revealed that Murdaugh admitted to authorities that he conspired with a former client to kill him as part of a suicide fraud scheme so that his only surviving son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy of dollars
The incident marked the beginning of what has become a bloody and complicated tragedy for years.
That same month, Murdaugh resigned from the law firm after it was discovered that it was misappropriating funds, PMPED said at the time.
“We were shocked and dismayed to learn that Alex violated our principles and code of ethics. He lied and stole from us,” PMPED said in a late September 2021 statement.
That same month, the state Supreme Court issued an order suspending his license to practice law in South Carolina.
Murdaugh’s attorney also said at the time that his client had an opioid addiction and was in the early stages of treatment.
A South Carolina state grand jury has indicted Murdaugh on a total of 99 counts of schemes to defraud victims of more than $8.7 million, in addition to money owed in state taxes, the prosecutor said general of the state.
Disgraced lawyer accused of murdering wife and son appears in court
Murdaugh also faces murder charges in connection with the deaths of his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and his young son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, who were found shot to death on the property of the family in June 2021. He has a lawyer. not guilty
In a motion filed earlier this month, prosecutors alleged that Murdaugh’s motive for killing the two was to distract from plans he was executing to avoid financial ruin.
“The evidence will show that Murdaugh accumulated substantial debts over a period of years and to discover those debts began to engage in illicit financial crimes,” prosecutors wrote in the filing. “The evidence will further show that these financial crimes were about to come to light at the time of the murders, more specifically on the date of the murders.”
The murders, prosecutors alleged, were Murdaugh’s attempt to “turn the spotlight away from himself and buy himself a little extra time to try to keep his financial crimes out of the spotlight.”
Murdaugh’s murder trial is scheduled to begin in January.
Murdaugh wants the trial to begin quickly, his lawyer said, because he believes “the killer or killers of his wife and son are still at large.”