South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh disbarred amid money laundering charges

Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been disbarred by the state’s Supreme Court for “admitted reprehensible misconduct.” According to his own attorney, it also comes before he could be charged with murder. 

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of South Carolina announced that Murdaugh can no longer practice law in the state.  

“Based on his admitted reprehensible misconduct, we hereby disbar respondent Richard Alexander Murdaugh from the practice of law in South Carolina,” the Supreme Court said in an order signed by all five court justices. 

The disbarment comes after Murdaugh, 54, was hit with his 16th indictment for an alleged eight-year money laundering and painkiller ring with a friend and former client charged with trying to help him commit suicide.

Murdaugh wrote 437 checks worth $2.4 million that Curtis “Eddie” Smith cashed over eight years, keeping some of the money for himself, and putting the rest towards wide-ranging illegal activities, according to indictments unsealed last month. 

The former attorney also faces a slew of charges ranging from lying to police and trying to arrange his own death, to stealing money from clients, to arranging $4.3 million in wrongful death settlements for a housekeeper who died in a fall at his home, then not giving her family a dime.

Still unsolved are the shooting deaths of Murdaugh’s wife and younger son outside their home in June 2021. Their killings are not referenced in any of the new indictments, and both Murdaugh and Smith have adamantly said they had nothing to do with them.

But on Tuesday, Murdaugh’s attorney Jim Griffin said he is expecting his client to face murder charges some time this week, although he did not specify if they were in connection to his family’s shooting deaths. 

“We have not been advised by anyone associated with law enforcement or the attorney general’s office that Alex will be charged with murder,” Griffin said in a statement. “I am aware that SLED (the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) advised the family that they intend to seek murder indictments from a grand jury later this week. We won’t have any comment until charges are actually brought against Alex.” 

In a statement, SLED spokeswoman Renée Wunderlich declined to confirm any upcoming charges. 

“SLED’s investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh is still active and ongoing,” Wunderlich said. “Agents are committed to the integrity of the investigation, thus no additional information from SLED will be provided at this time.”

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