COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – We’re learning more about several crimes allegedly committed by suspended attorney Alex Murdaugh and two of his accomplices. An attorney representing a number of the clients detailed the crimes in Columbia on Thursday. Evidence shows the crimes began more than a decade ago.


More than 40 pages of money orders, deposit slips, and receipts layout a financial scheme in which suspended attorney Alex Murdaugh, fellow attorney Cory Fleming and banker Russell Laffitte are allegedly conspired to divert over $1,000,000 in client funds for their personal use. The money was supposed to be paid to the family of Hakeem Pinckney, who the trio represented in personal injury and wrongful death cases. The family’s attorney, Justin Bamberg says the three men have to be held accountable.

“I can’t comprehend how for over a decade it wasn’t caught,” says Bamberg. “It’s unbelievable.”

A check shows $329,500 was paid to Alex Murdaugh’s dad, former 14th Circuit Solicitor Randolph Murdaugh III. Another check provided by Bamberg shows a $10,000 payment to Murdaugh’s late wife, Maggie Murdaugh. Laffitte also directed several checks to his father, Charles Laffitte, who had been serving as CEO of Palmetto State Bank at the time. Russel Laffitte took over the position as CEO in 2020 before being fired in 2022. Laffitte’s family founded the bank back in 1907.

“What we see is a whole bunch of taking from Peter giving to Paul and then taking from Jake to pay back Peter,” says Bamberg.

Much of the money was used to pay off debts, including some for lavish activities.

“Why,” asked Bamberg. “Why was their money used to book a private plane to fly to the College World Series?”

The latest accusations are strikingly similar to the settlement for Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield and the misappropriation of money that followed.

In a recent bond hearing, Fleming said he was duped by Murdaugh in the scheme. Bamberg doesn’t believe that was the case.

“Everybody is not a victim of Alex Murdaugh. They’re not,” says Bamberg. “Alex Murdaugh is not a victim, Cory Fleming is not a victim, Russell Laffitte is not a victim.”

Documents show the trio misappropriated more than a million dollars, issuing checks as recent as 2017 to pay personal debts. Murdaugh, who stands accused of stealing more than $8 million from various clients, faces dozens of charges and decades in prison if convicted.

“You don’t go and win $10 million cases and then because you get caught doing some dumb stuff, you just get to play dumb,” says Bamberg. “That’s not how this works.”

Bamberg says he wants justice for the Pinckney family and the legal system.

“This can never, never happen again in our state,” says Bamberg. “It can’t.”

We’ve learned Russell Laffitte will have a virtual bond hearing Friday morning before Judge Allison Lee, who set a $7 million bond for Alex Murdaugh back in December. Murdaugh faces 15 indictments totaling 79 state grand jury charges.