Alex Murdaugh New 22-Count Indictment ... Allegedly Stole $3.4 Mil from Dead Housekeeper

Murder's just the tip of the iceberg with Alex Murdaugh ... the feds say he plotted with bank CEOs and other attorneys to plunder millions from clients, and the estate of the housekeeper who died mysteriously in his home.

The feds just dropped a 22-count indictment on the convicted murderer, and according to the docs ... Murdaugh had quite the operation going behind the scenes of his family's personal injury law firm.

Perhaps the most disturbing charge involves Gloria Satterfield, the Murdaughs' longtime housekeeper, who died in 2018 after an alleged slip and fall -- caused by the Murdaughs' dogs -- in the family's home.

According to the indictment, Murdaugh recommended Gloria's family hire another attorney ... who was one of Murdaugh's close friends.

That lawyer negotiated settlements for Gloria's death from 2 insurance companies -- Lloyds of London and Nautilus Insurance Group -- totaling about $4.3 million. However, the feds say the lion's share of that settlement got funneled into an account Murdaugh set up to look like a legit consulting firm ... but it absolutely was not.

Gloria's family members spoke out in the Netflix documentary, "Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal," and said they never saw a dime of the insurance payouts. This indictment backs that up, and provides an answer for where the money went ... allegedly.

The Satterfields are just one of several of Murdaugh's financial victims, according to the indictment, which details other alleged incidents of pilfering his clients' funds.

He's accused of money laundering, wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.


Of course, Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year for the 2021 murders of his wife and son. He can't get more time behind bars, but the feds can collect money and assets for his victims ... if he's convicted. Again.

Stephen Smith Body Exhumed After Info Surfaces in Murdaugh Murder Case

The body of Stephen Smith -- the 19-year-old whose death was called a hit-and-run for years until information in the Alex Murdaugh case changed everyone's tune -- has been exhumed ... TMZ has confirmed.

Smith was found dead on a dark road in Hampton County, South Carolina back in July, 2015. The deputy coroner who did the autopsy ruled the death a hit and run, but that never made sense. Stephen had a gash in his head from either a bullet or some object, but no injuries below the torso -- something that would make no sense in a car accident. There was no debris from the car on the road, and there are other factors clearly pointing to homicide.

Stephen's mom, Sandy Smith, has waged a campaign for years to reclassify the case, and now she has commissioned a private autopsy to determine what really happened to her son. Authorities have already reclassified the case as a homicide.

Buster Murdaugh went to school with Stephen and rumors swirled around town. Buster has denied any involvement and now there are 2 persons of interest -- not part of the Murdaugh family -- who have captured the interest of police -- this according to Fitsnews.

Many twists and turns in this case, including why Randy Murdaugh was so quick to offer help to the Smiths after Stephen's death, even before his body was officially identified.

No word on when autopsy results will be made public.

We covered it all in the latest episode of The TMZ Podcast.

Stephen Smith Homicide Case Mom Sent Letter To FBI ... ID'd Buster Murdaugh As Suspect in Son's Murder

Stephen Smith's mom fired off a letter to the FBI about the mishandling of her son's death investigation, saying he was murdered for being gay and naming Buster Murdaugh as a possible suspect.

Sandy Smith sent the 4-page letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2016, hoping the agency would take over the case from local South Carolina authorities, whom she believed had covered up critical evidence in the case.

As you know, Stephen was found dead in the middle of a country road in Hampton County near the Murdaugh family estate on July 8, 2015. Police initially thought Stephen's death was a "homicide" because there were no signs he'd been struck by a vehicle. Yet, the pathologist who performed the autopsy ruled that it was a hit-and-run, but Stephen's manner of death was left undetermined.

In the letter, obtained by FITSNews, Sandy wrote Stephen's older brother, Christopher, was told by a classmate that Buster Murdaugh allegedly killed Stephen with a baseball bat because Stephen was gay. Buster is the eldest son of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh, who is serving life in prison for murdering his wife and younger son.

Sandy said Buster and the classmate were smashing mailboxes around town when they came upon Stephen, and Buster "seized the opportunity."

Sandy also claimed Buster threatened to kill the classmate if he spoke out about what happened. The information was allegedly turned over to local investigators, but nothing ever materialized.

What's more, Sandy said Stephen was apparently dating "someone from a prominent family in the county who was hiding his sexuality." But, Stephen kept the person's name under wraps.

Sandy alluded to a secret romance between Buster and Stephen in the letter. The same allegation was highlighted by their former schoolmates in a recent Netflix series about the Murdaugh murders.

And then there's this ... Alex Murdaugh's brother, Randolph, called Stephen's dad immediately after his son's death, asking to work the case pro bono and act as an intermediary between the Smith family and police, according to Sandy. Randolph was the county solicitor at the time.

Sandy said Stephen's father accepted the offer, although he was confused as to why Randolph wanted to help and how he found about the case before his son's body had been identified. But, Sandy said, Randolph stopped calling her family after a few interactions and wound up not representing them.

In a recent twist, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division officials announced they're now investigating the case as a homicide.

As for the feds, it's not clear if they acted on Sandy's letter and looked into Stephen's death.

Buster has issued a statement denying any involvement in Stephen’s case -- saying, "These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false. I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family."

Murdaugh-Linked Teen 2015 Death Now Seen as Homicide

Stephen Smith -- the 19-year-old who was friends with Alex Murdaugh's son Buster and died 8 years ago -- was not killed in an accidental hit-and-run ... officials now say it was a homicide, and the change of heart has a link to the recent Murdaugh murder case.

The 19-year-old was found dead in the middle of a South Carolina road nearly 9 years ago.  At the time authorities called it a fatal hit-and-run, despite glaring evidence it was foul play. Among the evidence -- there were no car parts found at the scene, and Stephen's body had no injuries below the torso.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced they're reopening the case and investigating it as a homicide ... this based on new info they say they've gathered from the Murdaugh double murder case that just wrapped 2 weeks ago.

Unclear what exactly they've found or who it implicates ... but there's been widespread suspicion Alex Murdaugh's surviving son, Buster -- who was a former classmate of Smith's -- was possibly involved with him.

Buster addressed the speculation about him and Smith ... saying, "These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false. I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family."

Smith's death case had actually been reopened in 2021, but SLED says they held off on announcing anything new until now due to the massive amount of attention on Alex Murdaugh's own murder case ... wanting to avoid ruining his chances at a fair trial. Now that he's been convicted, the word is out.

Smith's mother, Sandy, has been beating the drum about her son for quite a while now ... privately raising money to get his body exhumed/reexamined for a new autopsy.


An attorney for the Smith family came on "TMZ Live" Tuesday to lay out what he says is clear evidence that Stephen was murdered ... and that he still deserves justice today.

Alex Murdaugh Prison Fears He's a Target for Inmates ... Due to Infamy of Case

Alex Murdaugh is being held in the most secure area of a South Carolina prison ... and it's all because other inmates might wanna take him down a few notches due to his notoriety.

Murdaugh, who is serving two life sentences after being convicted of murdering his wife and 22-year-old son, is behind bars at Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia, SC, where he's been placed in a single cell.

The SC Department of Corrections tells TMZ ... Murdaugh's infamy could put him at risk -- so, for the most part, he's being kept away from other inmates.

Murdaugh's single cell is made of concrete with a steel bed, toilet and sink. It's a stark contrast to the privileged lifestyle the disgraced powerhouse attorney once led.


We're told Murdaugh is under constant surveillance and he's not even eating with the other inmates. His meals are brought directly to his cell, where he eats alone -- that's how in peril prison officials feel he'd be in general population.

Murdaugh's only going to be at Kirkland for 45 days ... there's an evaluation period before he's assigned to a specific custody level, and new prison. At that point, we're told he will get his meals in the cafeteria with his fellow inmates, unless a specific threat is made against him.

For now, though, we're told Murdaugh is being escorted by at least one corrections officer whenever he leaves his cell ... and that's when he gets closest to other inmates, albeit for an extremely limited window.


As far as creature comforts, he can have a few. We're told he can buy a TV for his cell and pay for phone calls to family and friends.

So far, he hasn't been attacked or even threatened ... but Kirkland officials aren't taking any chances he gets harmed on their watch.

Alex Murdaugh Totally Bald in New Prison Mug Shot

Alex Murdaugh, who was sentenced to life Friday morning, already has a different look as he heads to prison ... with a completely shaved head.

The new mug shot was taken just a few hours after he was in a South Carolina courthouse to hear his sentence for murdering his wife and son.


Murdaugh had a full head of hair as the judge gave him 2 life sentences ... so they clearly put the razor to him shortly after he was walked out of court in handcuffs. We're told that's S.O.P., so it's not like he had a choice in the matter.

As we reported, a jury convicted him Thursday of 2 counts of murder and 2 counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. They reached the verdict after less than 3 hours of deliberations.

As you know, Murdaugh's wife Maggie and 22-year-old son Paul were found dead back in 2021 on the family property in Islandton, SC -- they'd been shot with 2 different guns.


Murdaugh was indicted last summer for their murders, but always maintained he was innocent and had an alibi ... but that was blown up when prosecutors presented video and audio proving he was on the property moments -- within earshot of Maggie and Paul -- before the murders.

While on the stand, Murdaugh admitted he lied to authorities, but still maintained he did not kill them. The jury didn't buy it.

Alex Murdaugh Sentenced To Life Judge Suggests Death Penalty Was Right Punishment


Alex Murdaugh will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the murders of his wife and son ... and the judge seemed to say the death penalty might have been more appropriate.

The life sentence was handed down Friday in a South Carolina courthouse ... the sentencing comes a day after the jury convicted him of two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime -- a verdict reached by the jury after less than three hours of deliberations.

Before the judge handed down the sentence, Murdaugh maintained he did not commit the murders. The judge said it was heartbreaking for him to see Murdaugh going from a grieving husband and father to a killer. The judge noted prosecutors could have sought the death penalty, and seemed to say the death penalty may have been the right punishment.

After Murdaugh said he didn't commit the crime, the judge said he agreed it might have been an alter ego ... the monster within.

Murdaugh’s legal team told TMZ ... "We are disappointed in the jury’s verdict but we will not have any further comment until after sentencing."

Murdaugh's 22-year-old son Paul and his wife Maggie were found dead back in 2021 at their hunting property in Islandton, South Carolina. Murdaugh was originally described by authorities as only a "person of interest," largely because he claimed to have an airtight alibi.


During the trial, however, prosecutors introduced video and audio evidence showing that Alex’s alibi evidence was not credible, and placed him at the scene of the crime at about the time of the killings


Murdaugh later admitted on the stand that he had lied to authorities about not being at the property, but nevertheless insisted he had not killed his wife and son.

Although an appeal is virtually certain, it will be next to impossible to overturn the verdict, even if there was an error during trial. The evidence was so overwhelming, any error would probably be viewed as harmless ... in other words, there was still enough evidence to convict.

Alex Murdaugh Found Guilty Of Son, Wife's Murders


4:41 PM PT -- Alex Murdaugh's legal team tells TMZ ... “We are disappointed in the jury’s verdict but we will not have any further comment until after sentencing.”

Alex Murdaugh has been found guilty in the double murder trial of his son and wife.

The jury took less than 3 hours to reach a verdict Thursday, announcing it in a South Carolina courthouse.

As we reported, Murdaugh's wife Maggie and 22-year-old son Paul were found dead in 2021 at their hunting property, and investigators say they were shot with 2 different guns.

Murdaugh was originally a person of interest for more than a year but claimed he had an alibi. Still, a grand jury heard enough evidence last July to indict him for the murders of Maggie and Paul.

During the trial, which started back in January, Murdaugh's supposed alibi was blown up when prosecutors introduced a bombshell piece of evidence -- video from Paul's phone recorded at 8:44 PM in the family's dog kennel ... minutes before the murders.


In the video, Paul's father is heard in the background, meaning he actually was nearby when Paul and Maggie were murdered.


When Murdaugh took the stand last month he broke down as he recalled finding his wife and son dead -- however, due to Paul's video -- he was forced to admit lying to authorities about not being on the property when they were murdered.

Under cross-examination, prosecutors grilled Murdaugh over stealing millions from his law clients, and his decades-long addiction to prescription pills.

Youtube / NewsNation

The trial hit one procedural snafu on Thursday -- Judge Clifton Newman said one of the jurors discussed her opinion about evidence with 3 people outside court ... so, she was replaced by an alternate juror.

The juror requested her belongings before leaving the courtroom -- which included her purse, a bottle, and oddly enough a dozen eggs ... go figure.

Alex Murdaugh Trial Juror Dismissed ... Won't Leave Without Her Dozen Eggs!!!

Alex Murdaugh's double murder trial hit a delay Thursday morning when the judge dismissed one of the jurors -- but she refused to leave court without some very valuable belongings.

Judge Clifton Newman announced one of the jurors had discussed her opinion about trial evidence with 3 people -- presumably not other jurors -- and therefore, she's being replaced with an alternate.

Youtube / NewsNation

The jurors' dismissal also came with an inflationary sign of the times, as she demanded her belongings from the jury room before departing. Those items included her purse, a bottle ... and a dozen eggs!!!

The price of those eggs runs somewhere south of $4, on average, these days in South Carolina ... so ya get it.

Even the judge quipped, "We've had a lot of interesting things. But now a dozen eggs."


As for Murdaugh's fate ... the alternate juror has been seated, and the defense is delivering its closing arguments.

Alex Murdaugh 'I Didn't Shoot My Wife Or My Son' ... Emotional Testimony In Murder Trial


Alex Murdaugh, who has been charged with the double murder of his wife and son, took the stand and denied shooting his late family members to death.

The disgraced powerhouse attorney testified in his own defense Thursday in a South Carolina courtroom, fielding questions from his defense lawyers, denying he killed his son Paul, adding he didn't shoot his wife, Maggie either.

Murdaugh told the jury ... "I didn't shoot my wife or my son anytime ever."


He became very emotional as he described finding his son and wife dead.

While Murdaugh denied pulling the trigger in the fatal June 2021 shootings, he admitted to lying to authorities about the case.

Murdaugh apologized to the rest of his family, many of whom were in the courtroom... saying he would "never intentionally do anything to hurt" his wife or son Paul, who he referred to as "Paw Paw."

Maggie and 22-year-old Paul were found dead at the Murdaugh's hunting property in June 2021 after they were shot with what investigators believe are two different guns. Murdaugh told police he discovered their bodies after the fact, claiming he had an alibi.

Murdaugh was a person of interest for a while, but it took over a year for him to be charged with murder.

A couple months after his wife and son were found dead, Murdaugh allegedly hired a gunman to kill him so his surviving son, Buster, could collect a $10 million life insurance policy. But Murdaugh survived a gunshot wound to the head and was arrested and charged for the alleged scheme.


Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him ... and his defense has been arguing there's no physical evidence tying him to the deadly shootings.

Alex Murdaugh Charged with Killing Wife & Son

Alex Murdaugh — who’s at the center of a double murder scandal in South Carolina — has been charged with murder in connection to the killings of his wife and son.

The disgraced powerhouse attorney was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday, which heard evidence from prosecutors and decided there was enough to charge Murdaugh with two counts of murder ... according to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh were found dead at the family’s hunting property last summer after they were shot and killed by what investigators believed were two different weapons. Alex told investigators he discovered them there after the fact, and claimed he had an alibi as to his whereabouts at the time of the murders.

Despite being a person of interest for a while, Murdaugh was never formally charged over their deaths. He was, however, arrested and charged for allegedly trying to stage his own death months later.

Murdaugh survived the ordeal — a gunshot wound to the head that left superficial injuries — but prosecutors claim his intention was to actually die, and have his surviving son collect a $10 million life insurance policy. Instead, he lived … and was subsequently accused of trying to hatch an elaborate scheme.

In addition to those charges, he’s also been hit with dozens of other charges over financial crimes — prosecutors claim he swindled various people out of millions of dollars through his legal practice.

Murdaugh has pled not guilty to all the charges thus far. He’s due in court later this week, and is expected to enter a plea on the new murder charges as well.

He’s currently being held in jail on a $7 million bond.

Dateline's Josh Mankiewicz Talks Alex Murdaugh Murder Case ... Who Just Appeared In Court

Fox News

1:29 PM PT -- Murdaugh just appeared in a South Carolina court, going in front a judge and being read the charges against him.


10:38 AM PT -- Murdaugh has just turned himself in. He reportedly pulled up to the Hampton County Law Enforcement Center in a beige SUV.  Murdaugh was booked at the Hampton County Detention Center and is expected in court later in the day.


The disgraced lawyer faces a slew of charges ... including insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report.

"Dateline" correspondent Josh Mankiewicz knows the bizarre murder/assisted suicide case of South Carolina's Murdaugh family is right up his show's alley -- and he's totally into it -- but he says the location is a bit off.


Josh was leaving The Palm in L.A. Wednesday when we got his take on the endless twists surrounding prominent lawyer Alex Murdaugh, and the unsolved murders of his wife and son.

For starters, Josh, like everyone else, says the case is riveting and people are asking him about it nonstop. Comes with the territory when you're the go-to guy covering true crime cases.

For the uninitiated ... Murdaugh found his wife, Margaret, and 22-year-old son, Paul, shot dead outside their home in June -- and police have yet to make any arrests in that case.

Fast forward to September 4 ... when Murdaugh got shot in the head, but survived. He now admits he hired a hitman to kill him so his surviving son could collect a $10M life insurance policy. The shooter's already been arrested and charged with assisted suicide, and Murdaugh's expected to surrender to authorities Thursday.

Josh is blown away by all of this, and that's coming from a "Dateline" vet who's seen it all ... so, ya know we're in uncharted true crime waters. In fact, he says one of the strangest parts of the case is that it's NOT happening in Florida!

Apologies to the Sunshine State, but y'know ... some insane stuff does happen there. 'Memba this and this??? Anyway, Josh also has a tip for Alex Murdaugh, although we suspect it's too late to help him now.

BTW ... S.C. officials announced they're also opening a new investigation into the 2018 death of a housekeeper at Murdaugh's home. 😲

Originally Published -- 9:17 AM PT

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