© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Alex Richard Murdaugh is seen in this police mugshot photo in Orlando, Florida, U.S., October 14, 2021. Picture taken October 14, 2021. ORANGE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
By Tyler Clifford
(Reuters) – A South Carolina attorney charged in the June 2021 murders of his wife and youngest son was indicted on Friday on nine counts of tax evasion as part of a scheme to defraud his family’s century-old legal firm and its clients.
Alex Murdaugh, 54, the scion of a South Carolina legal dynasty, is accused of willful attempt to evade state taxes on millions of dollars in income between 2011 and 2019. He is currently in jail awaiting his murder trial next month.
The new charges are in addition to dozens of state charges, including embezzlement and murder, brought by a Colleton County grand jury. Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to those charges in July.
Murdaugh is accused of fraudulently making nearly $7 million, which was left off on annual tax filings with the state, according to the indictment. He is suspected of skipping out on more than $486,800 in payments owed to South Carolina.
Murdaugh reported earning almost $14 million during the years in question, much of which came from the Hampton, South Carolina, law office of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, founded by his great-grandfather and its clients, the indictment said.
The firm changed its name to Parker Law Group almost a year ago, according to local media.
Lawyers for Murdaugh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Murdaugh’s wife Margaret and son Paul were killed at the family’s Collene County property in June 2021. He faces two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon in connection with the murders.
Murdaugh also faces charges for an alleged scheme to have himself killed to make way for his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, to collect a $10 million insurance payout, police have said. He survived the attack, despite being shot.
In an affidavit Murdaugh admitted to plotting his own death, a state police agency said in September 2021.
A state grand jury indicted him in November 2021 on 27 charges stemming from schemes to defraud law clients and associates, as well as launder more than $4.8 million.
Separately, he was accused of embezzling settlement funds related to his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died in 2018 after a “trip and fall” accident in the Murdaugh home, according to court records.
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