CHARLESTON, S.C. — Alex Murdaugh is set to be sued again, according to reporting from our affiliate WCIV in Charleston.
Murdaugh and Russell Laffitte, a former bank CEO accused of helping Murdaugh steal funds from a former client and the client’s family, are expected to be taken to court in Hampton County, WCIV said.
Attorneys for the family of HaKeem Pinckney made their lawsuit plans known in a lis pendens filed Tuesday on six properties owned by Laffitte.
A lis pendens is a legal notice warning the public a property is tied up in pending litigation. It’s commonly used to prevent the sale of such properties.
In this case, WCIV reports the lis pendens comes a week after Laffitte placed his home in Hampton County up for sale with an asking price over half a million dollars.
WCIV said local tax assessors valued Laffitte’s six Hampton County properties at a combined $420,495, but in the current real estate and housing market, the are thought to be worth more.
That’s reflected in the asking price on Laffitte’s five-bedroom home in Varnville. Online real estate listings for the 2,400+ square-foot house and three-acre property show Lafitte is asking $549,900, according to WCIV
Justin Bramberg, one of the lawyers for the Pinckney family, told WCIV the lis pendens is a precursor to a full lawsuit coming in the next three weeks.
Murdaugh and Corey Fleming, Murdaugh’s friend and a recently indicted attorney, will also be parties in the lawsuit.
State grand jury indictments issued in January accused Murdaugh of pilfering at least $750,000 in combined funds from settlements meant for Hakeem Pinckney and his cousin, Natasha Thomas.
A 2010 crash badly injured Pinckney and Thomas. Pinckney, who was already deaf, was left as a quadriplegic and died months later.
Thomas and Pinckney’s mother sought legal representation from Murdaugh, who then arranged for Laffitte to serve as personal representative for Mrs. Pinckney in financial and legal matters, according to court records.
Bamberg told WCIV Laffitte collected $60,000 in arranged fees from the settlement as conservator for the Pinckney estate.
Bamberg and state prosecutors allege Murdaugh stole a $309,591 settlement check meant for Pinckney’s mom in 2011.
As personal representative for the estate, Laffitte would’ve know and needed to sign off on the check disbursement. That means Laffitte likely knew about the theft and did not stop it or report it, according to lawyers.
No criminal charges have been fired so far against Laffitte. However, he was fired from his job a Palmetto State Bank in Hampton earlier this year when his connection to Murdaugh’s crimes became apparent.
Court and property records obtained by WCIV show Laffitte served as personal representative for Murdaugh clients several times and the Murdaugh family repeatedly used the bank for loans and banking.
Fleming, who Murdaugh later referred Pinckney’s mother tofor representation in another lawsuit over her son’s death, was criminally charged.
He allegedly helped Murdaugh steal millions of dollars from the family of Gloria Satterfield. She was the former housekeeper for the Murdaugh family who died from a fall at the Murdaugh’s home in 2018.
Murdaugh and Fleming are accused of hatching a scheme to have Satterfield’s sons pursue a death settlement from Murdaugh’s insurance companies, which the two attorneys then hid from the family and public court records in order to keep it for themselves.
(WATCH BELOW: SC police release 911 calls related to Murdaugh’s housekeeper’s accidental fall)
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