Alex Murdaugh has been arrested on his release from rehab in Florida for allegedly syphoning off a $4.3 million settlement meant for the sons of his housekeeper who died in a mysterious ‘trip and fall’ at his home back in 2018.
Murdaugh, who was charged last month over a botched hitman scheme and is a person of interest in his wife and son’s double murder, was taken into custody Thursday morning in Florida by agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
He faces two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses over the misappropriation of settlement funds in the death of Gloria Satterfield, 57.
Satterfield’s family said they haven’t received a dime from a $4.3 million wrongful death settlement agreement.
Instead, court documents last week claimed Murdaugh syphoned off $3.5 million of the insurance payout to his own shell company called Forge – which was actually a PO Box in Hampton, South Carolina.
Alex Murdaugh (pictured in mug Thursday) has been arrested on his release from rehab in Florida for allegedly syphoning off a $4.3 million settlement meant for the sons of his housekeeper who died in a mysterious ‘trip and fall’ at his home back in 2018
Gloria Satterfield, 57, (pictured) had been the Murdaugh housekeeper for around 25 years when she died following a mystery ‘trip and fall’ inside the Murdaugh family in 2018
Murdaugh has been taken to Orange County Corrections where he will be held until he receives an extradition hearing to send him back to South Carolina for a bond hearing.
SLED Chief Mark Keel said in a statement that the legal scion’s arrest marks the first step in bringing justice for all those who have been ‘victimized by Alex Murdaugh and others.’
‘Today is merely one more step in a long process for justice for the many victims in these investigations,’ said Keel.
‘I want to commend the hard work and dedication that our agents have shown over the last four months.
‘They will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of those who were victimized by Alex Murdaugh and others.
‘As I have said previously, we are committed to following the facts wherever they may lead us and we will not stop until justice is served.’
Keel did not go into detail about what he meant by ‘these investigations’ over the last ‘four months.’
However, it is almost exactly four months to the day that Murdaugh’s son Paul and wife Maggie were found shot dead at the family hunting lodge in South Carolina.
No arrests have been made and no suspects or persons of interest named.
Since then, the SLED has launched multiple other investigations tied to Murdaugh and his family.
An investigation was launched last month after Murdaugh was shot in the head by the side of a road in Hampton County.
Murdaugh in court last month over his botched plot to hire a hitman to kill him for an insurance windfall
Murdaugh was arrested and charged over the incident days later after he confessed to cops that he paid an accomplice to shoot and kill him for a multi-million-dollar life insurance windfall.
Last month, cops also opened an investigation into Satterfield’s death in February 2018.
SLED also reopened the investigation into the 2015 death of gay teen Stephen Smith.
The teen’s death was ruled a hit-and-run, though no suspects have ever been named or charged and there was no evidence he was struck by a vehicle.
Stephen was a classmate of Murdaugh’s surviving son Buster and there were rumors reported at the time that he was in a relationship with him.
The legal scion had been holed up in a drug rehab facility in Orlando, Florida, after posting bond last month to tackle the 20-year opioid addiction that he said has left him in financial ruin.
Satterfield, 57, had been the Murdaugh housekeeper and nanny for around 25 years when she died following a ‘trip and fall’ inside the Murdaugh family home back in February 2018.
Satterfield was found by Murdaugh’s wife Maggie on the front steps of the family home bleeding and the family said she had tripped over their dogs. She died weeks later.
The 57-year-old’s death was not reported to the coroner at the time and no autopsy was carried out.
The death certificate cites the manner of death as ‘natural’ – something that is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fail accident.
This does not match the information documented in the wrongful death suit which said she died as a ‘result of injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident, in Hampton County’.
Murdaugh allegedly then defrauded the Satterfield family out of a $4.3 million wrongful death settlement – which they said they had not received a dime of.
Last week, new legal documents claimed Murdaugh set up a fake firm called Forge to syphon off $3.5 million of the settlement money when it was paid out by his insurance firms.
The civil suit brought by Satterfield’s sons Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriott said the payouts were redirected to what was essentially a PO Box in Hampton instead of to them.
Two other defendants were named in the civil suit – Murdaugh’s old college roommate Cory Fleming, who acted as a lawyer on behalf of Satterfield’s families, and Chad Westendorf, Vice President of Palmetto State Bank who took over the sons as personal representative of their mom’s estate.
Fleming has his law license suspended Friday but has insisted he was also a victim of Murdaugh’s deceit.