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Attorneys for Alex Murdaugh housekeeper's heirs want to question banker over missing $4.3 million

John Monk, Jake Shore, and Kacen Bayless, The State (Columbia, S.C.) on

Published in News & Features

Under a court order signed by S.C. Judge Carmen Mullen in May 2019, the heirs were supposed to be paid $2.765 million of the $4.3 million, according to the motion.

"They were not paid one dime," the motion says.

The motion also says that Westendorf received $30,000 in fees from the insurance proceeds, money that he wasn't supposed to take.

In an interview Wednesday, Bland said that Westendorf has committed to paying back that money.

Westendorf could not be reached for comment.

'Forge' scheme


The $4.3 million came from Alex Murdaugh's insurance policies that covered deaths or injuries to third parties at his home. Satterfield, 53, died of injuries she received in a February 2018 fall at the Murdaugh house, where she had been a longtime housekeeper and nanny.

After Satterfield's death Murdaugh organized a plan in which he and Fleming would file a claim with insurance companies for the $4.3 million, and Westendorf would oversee the handling of the proceeds, according to the heirs' lawsuit and the new motion.

"Westendorf, as fiduciary to the Estate and as an officer of the Hampton County Probate Court, had a duty to secure the funds which were to be paid to him (and) distribute the designated amount of the wrongful death proceeds to Tony and Brian," the motion says. A "fiduciary" is a trustee to a financial matter who is supposed to act legally and ethically.

The S.C. Supreme Court has suspended the law licenses of both Murdaugh and Fleming. The high court suspended Murdaugh's law license in early September after his former law firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick, of Hampton, accused him of embezzling money from the firm and clients. Fleming's law license was suspended Oct. 8 after the heirs' lawsuit was filed.


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