HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Embattled and suspended Hampton County lawyer Alex Murdaugh has confessed to scamming the family of his former housekeeper out of millions in a death settlement and has asked the court to uphold a judgement ordering Murdaugh to pay the family $4.3 million.
The document filed Thursday is connected to the cause brought against Murdaugh by the sons of Gloria Satterfield, the longtime Murdaugh housekeeper who died after an alleged trip and fall and Murdaugh’s home in 2018. After her death, Murdaugh advised her sons to sue him for insurance money, then diverted the funds into a shell account for his personal use, according to records obtained by the Satterfield’s lawyers.
In the filing, Murdaugh “admits liability to the [Satterfields] for the claims asserted against him.”
Certain conditions are set forth in the agreement, one of which stipulates that “the presiding judge who is charged with the distribution of the receivership estate to current and future creditors… shall determine in his or her sole discretion the amount of payment, if any, the which the [Satterfields are] entitled from.”
The stipulation refers to the court-appointed receivership placed over Murdaugh’s assets due to concerns that he was attempting to deflate his value to avoid paying the victims in multiple lawsuits brought against him.
According to Ronnie Richter, one of the Satterfield attorneys, the receivers will collect all of Murdaugh’s assets and liquidate them, then determine the total sum that is available for distribution to all parties that win the lawsuits against Murdaugh. If there is not enough to go around, the judgements stand in the future. For example, if Murdaugh is offered any book or movie deals, the court could take proceeds from those ventures and use them as payment to his alleged victims.
Additionally, the document states that “the amount of the Judgement is subject to and set-off and shall be reduced by credits for all amounts that have been previously paid by or for the benefit of any defendant who is or was a party to this litigation at any time.”
The Satterfields have already recovered far more than the original insurance settlement was worth from Murdaugh’s associates involved in the case, so it is conceivable that if approved, this petition would absolve Murdaugh of any payout. Richter said that his clients do not agree to that stipulation.
A contingency is included in the document that ensures Murdaugh is still held accountable even if he files for bankruptcy.
Editor’s note: This story is breaking and will be updated.