COLUMBIA, S.C. — Three lawyers are filing motions seeking to prevent Alex Murdaugh or his sole surviving son, Buster, from disposing of any of the father's financial or property assets without approval by a judge.
The motion, made in three separate Hampton County lawsuits that name the once-prominent lawyer as a defendant, also seek to have a judge appoint a receiver — or financial overseer — who would oversee Murdaugh's assets and track his previous spending, the lawyers said.
The lawyers also seek an immediate injunction to stop Murdaugh and his son from spending any of Murdaugh's money or selling any property. They also want any ill-gotten gains by Murdaugh clawed back from people or companies he has spent stolen money on, the motions say.
The motions note that Murdaugh is embroiled in various criminal and civil investigations in which he is alleged to have misappropriated millions of dollars. They assert that he must be stopped from disposing of any more assets.
"Irreparable injury, loss or damage will result in the absence of an injunction to this effect," said one motion, which is being filed by Columbia attorneys Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter.
The motions are the latest events in a sprawling series of intertwined criminal and civil legal actions and probes that revolve around Murdaugh, who is the focus of considerable statewide and national interest.
Earlier this week, a state circuit judge denied bond for Murdaugh and ruled he must stay in jail pending a psychological evaluation that assessed his mental health. Murdaugh has been criminally charged with embezzling millions from an estate.
Bland's and Richter's lawsuit, filed in September, alleges that Murdaugh stole $2.7 million from the legitimate heirs of Gloria Satterfield, the Murdaughs' longtime housekeeper, who died of fatal injuries received in a 2018 fall at the family home. The money, which came from insurance policies Murdaugh carried, was paid into Satterfield's estate and was distributed to Murdaugh instead of to Satterfield's two sons.
Two other lawyers who filed motions Friday include Mark Tinsley, who represents Renee Beach, the mother of Mallory Beach. The 19-year-old woman died in a 2019 nighttime boat crash in a watercraft allegedly piloted by Paul Murdaugh, Murdaugh's late son. Renee Beach's lawsuit names Murdaugh and Buster as defendants, as well as others.
The other attorney is Joe McCulloch, who represents Connor Cook, who was injured in the same boat crash that killed Mallory. The Cook lawsuit also seeks damages from the Murdaughs.
The lawyers said their motions, all similar and coordinated, were filed Friday.
All three motions seek to have Peter McCoy, a former U.S. attorney for South Carolina, and attorney John Lay appointed as co-receivers of all assets controlled by Murdaugh and Buster. As co-receivers, they will have the authority to locate and oversee the dispositions of all the assets controlled by both Murdaughs.
"The motions seek to trace every single financial action that Alex Murdaugh has done since 2010," Bland said.
Tinsley's motion said in part, "Alex Murdaugh has demonstrated an extraordinary pattern and practice of deceit and fraud in the handling of his assets and by his actions to misappropriate assets belonging to others. His pattern and practice involves carefully devised plans to defraud, to deceive and to conceal where money is concerned."
To illustrate how Murdaugh money is being spent, Tinsley's motion also contained as an exhibit a photo of Buster allegedly sitting at a casino table. The photo was taken in October 2021.(c)2021 The State (Columbia, S.C.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.