New South Carolina grand jury indictments have been filed against controversial insurance fraud attorney Alex Murdaugh and his alleged accomplice Curtis Eddie Smith.
Murdaugh, 54, is currently in jail on a $7 million bond following more than 70 criminal charges including embezzlement, breach of trust, fraudulent intent, money laundering, computer crimes, and forgery. Indictments had indicated that he allegedly stole almost $8.5 million in wrongful death and accident settlement from over a dozen people, committing these crimes as far back as 2011.
Meanwhile, Smith, 61, was arrested and charged last week by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, with four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery and criminal conspiracy. Smith was previously charged by the authorities with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a highly aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in relation to the shooting of Murdaugh during Labor Day weekend last year.
Investigators said that Murdaugh gave Smith a gun in 2021 and ordered Smith to shoot him in the head; Murdaugh’s death would have led to his son collecting on a $10 million life insurance policy.
But now, the two face new state grand jury indictments that include drug trafficking and operating a long-running money laundering scheme involving $2.4 million in embezzled cash.
According to the new conspiracy indictment, Murdaugh wrote Smith 437 checks worth a total of $2.4 million from 2013 to 2021. Allegedly, Smith used the proceeds to help Murdaugh hide “a myriad of unlawful activities,” the indictment noted. To prevent raising suspicion from banks, almost all the checks were written in amounts less than $10,000.
“Murdaugh drew the checks on accounts under his control at multiple banks, and made the checks payable to various versions of Smith’s name, as well as to close associates of Smith,” the indictment continued.
While much of the $2.4 million allegedly went into drugs for Murdaugh, “a substantial amount of cash is unaccounted for that passed through Mr. Smith’s hands,” prosecutor Creigton Waters of the Attorney General’s office told state Judge Clifton Newman during the bond hearing
Newman put a $250,000 surety bond on Smith, The State reported.
Waters also laid out additional points regarding the alleged theft, which included:
- The charges against Smith were brought after an extensive grand jury investigation “with evidence from multiple sources.”
- Murdaugh wrote about $1 million in checks to Smith, and then from March 2021 to September 2021, Murdaugh wrote another $973,000.
- Waters said that the amount being passed from around March 2021 to June and thereafter “is an extreme acceleration of the amounts Mr. Murdaugh is washing through the aid of Eddie Smith.”
Notably, around that time on June 07, 2021, Murdaugh’s Maggie and their youngest son Paul were shot to death in their home in Colleton County. Waters did not mention the deaths during the hearing, The State said.