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Judge freezes SC attorney Alex Murdaugh's money as lawsuits grow

Judge Daniel Hall on Tuesday sided with an attorney suing Murdaugh on behalf of the family of a 19-year-old woman killed in a crash on Murdaugh’s boat

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina judge has frozen the assets of prominent attorney Alex Murdaugh as he sits in jail being held without bond.

Judge Daniel Hall on Tuesday sided with an attorney suing Murdaugh on behalf of the family of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, a woman killed in a crash on Murdaugh’s boat which prosecutors said his late son was driving.

The family’s lawsuit says Murdaugh is trying to hide millions of dollars they could possibly collect in their lawsuit. Others suing Murdaugh want to join in. Murdaugh's lawyer argued against the independent monitors at a Friday hearing, saying there's been no judgement against Murdaugh and he has insurance to cover any loss.

It's just the latest legal entanglement for the attorney who's life and troubles have become national news in the last several months. 

He was arrested earlier this month on charges that he took settlement money that should have gone to the family of his housekeeper who died years ago. 

The charges stem from a settlement in the death of a former housekeeper, Gloria Ann Satterfield, who fell and hit her head at Murdaugh's residence on Feb. 2, 2018. She would later have a stroke, go into cardiac arrest, and die less than a month later.

Both warrants state that Murdaugh coordinated with Satterfield's family to "sue himself" in order to seek an insurance settlement. The alleged intent was to pay for funeral expenses as well as monetary compensation for Satterfield's children.

RELATED: The Murdaugh family: A timeline of events

He also faces charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report after he allegedly hired a man to kill him so that his son could collect the insurance money.

In September, Murdaugh went to an out-of-state treatment facility for the treatment of opioid addiction.

Murdaugh's former law firm, PMPED, is suing him, claiming he embezzled client and law firm money for his personal use. The lawsuit said they discovered a bank account in Murdaugh's name which he used to convert money owed to the law firm and their clients into money for himself.

SLED is currently still investigating the deaths of Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and her son Paul. According to the Associated Press, Murdaugh found his wife and son shot several times outside a home on the family’s Colleton County land after checking on his seriously ill father.  

Paul's death came as he was awaiting trial for boating under the influence and causing a 2019 crash that killed a 19-year-old woman, Mallory Beach. He had pleaded not guilty. 

And earlier this summer, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division reopened a case from 2015 when the body of 19-year-old Steven Smith was found in the middle of the road in Hampton County. 

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