Crime

State Grand Jury indicts Cory Fleming; Richard Alexander Murdaugh Indicted For New Charges

South Carolina State Grand Jury issued a superseding indictment against suspended attorneys Richard Alexander Murdaugh and Cory Howerton Fleming. In addition to charges previously indicted by the State Grand Jury, superseding indictment 2021-GS-47-30 issues four new charges against Murdaugh and 18 new charges against Fleming.

Richard Alexander Murdaugh

Murdaugh, 53, was suspended from the practice of law by the Order of the Supreme Court of South Carolina on September 8, 2021.  Murdaugh was previously indicted by a Colleton County Grand Jury for offenses related to a scheme to commit suicide and defraud an insurance company. Murdaugh also was indicted in November 2021, December 2021, and January 2021 by the South Carolina State Grand Jury for 71 counts including Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, Obtaining Property by False Pretenses, Money Laundering, Computer Crimes, and Forgery. Murdaugh is currently in custody at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

 

 

Cory Howerton Fleming

Fleming, 53, was suspended from the practice of law by the Order of the Supreme Court of South Carolina on October 8, 2021. Fleming was not previously indicted in connection with the State Grand Jury’s investigation.

In the superseding March indictment, 2021-GS-47-30, venued in Beaufort County, the State Grand Jury charges Murdaugh and Fleming together with one count of Criminal Conspiracy for conspiring to surreptitiously give Murdaugh a share of Fleming’s fee from the multi-million dollar settlement of civil claims against Murdaugh resulting from the death of Gloria Satterfield.

As to Murdaugh specifically, in addition to prior charges of Obtaining Signature or Property by False Pretenses, Value $10,000 or More (3 counts); Money Laundering, Value $100,000 or More (3 counts); and Computer Crime, Value $10,000 or More (3 counts), the State Grand Jury charged Murdaugh with three counts of False Statement or Misrepresentation in Connection with an Insurance Transaction, Value $50,000 or More.  The new charges arise out of the alleged scheme to defraud multiple insurance companies in the course of surreptitiously delivering to Murdaugh a share of the proceeds resulting from the settlement of the claims against him.  As before, the indictment alleges schemes by Murdaugh to defraud the victims of $3,483,431.95.

As to Fleming specifically, in addition to the criminal conspiracy charge, the State Grand Jury charged Fleming with three counts of False Statement or Misrepresentation in Connection with an Insurance Transaction, Value $50,000 or More; four counts of Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, Value $10,000 or more; three counts of Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, Value More than $2,000 but less than $10,000; three counts of Money Laundering, Value $100,000 or More; three counts of Money Laundering, Value More than $300 but less than $20,000; and one count of Computer Crime, Value More than $10,000. Fleming’s charges arise out of the alleged scheme to defraud multiple insurance companies, the personal representatives of the Estate of Gloria Satterfield, and the heirs of Gloria Satterfield in the course of surreptitiously delivering to Murdaugh a share of the proceeds resulting from the settlement of the claims against him. The indictment alleges schemes by Fleming to defraud the victims of not only the $3,483,431.95 delivered to Murdaugh, but also of $140,000 wrongfully appropriated or retained by Fleming.

The crimes charged in the indictments carry the following classifications and penalties:

  • Obtaining Signature or Property by False Pretenses, Value $10,000 or More, is a felony punishable upon conviction by imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine of up to $500.
  • Money Laundering, Value $100,000 or More, is a felony punishable upon conviction by imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine not to exceed $250,000, or twice the value of the financial transactions, whichever is greater.
  • Money Laundering, Value More than $300 but less than $20,000, is a felony punishable upon conviction by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine not to exceed $250,000, or twice the value of the financial transactions, whichever is greater.
  • Computer Crime, Value $10,000 or More, is a felony punishable upon conviction by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
  • Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, Value $10,000 or More, is a felony punishable upon conviction by imprisonment for up to 10 years.
  • Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, Value More than $2,000 but less than $10,000, is a felony punishable upon conviction by imprisonment for up to five years.
  • False Statement or Misrepresentation in Connection with an Insurance Transaction, Value $50,000 or More, is a felony punishable upon conviction by imprisonment for up to ten years and/or a fine of not less than $20,000 nor more than $100,000.
  • Criminal Conspiracy is a felony punishable upon conviction by imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to $5,000.

Altogether, through 15 indictments containing 75 charges against Murdaugh, the State Grand Jury has indicted Murdaugh for schemes to defraud victims of $8,492,888.31. As to Fleming, through one indictment containing 18 charges against him, the State Grand Jury has indicted Fleming for schemes to defraud victims of $3,623,431.95.

This State Grand Jury investigation is being conducted by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office. The case will be prosecuted by The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

You can read the superseding indictment here.

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