Breakdown of Alex Murdaugh’s confessed money crimes
After almost six weeks of probation, we know that Alex Murdaugh can do a lot: an admitted liar, a self-confessed thief, a self-confessed drug addict who blames his addiction for his weaknesses. With all of these admissions, he’s definitely fallen out of favor as a pro, and he was banned in direct response to his myriad financial highs spanning a decade.
But whether he’s a murderer or not, well, the jury isn’t even in agreement: they still have closing words to consider.
And while he may not be convicted of murder, he still faces a hefty prison sentence for these financial crimes after admitting under oath to several of them last week.
During direct questioning, while stating in his own defense, Alex Murdaugh admitted to writing vague financial theft and lying about that theft. During the state’s lengthy cross-examination, which focused primarily on these financial crimes, the defendant admitted to robbing no fewer than 18 different clients over the years, as well as the now-defunct law firm that formerly bore his name.
SEE ALSO: Prosecutor Ignores Murder Allegations During Alex Murdaugh’s Cross-Examination
Spread over 19 separate charges are 99 financial charges involving fraud, attempted tax evasion, money laundering, embezzlement, fraudulent breach of trust, obtaining signatures or property by false pretenses, computer crime, forgery, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
According to the South Carolina Attorney’s Office, Alex Murdaugh has extorted at least $8.7 million from his victims over the years, a number that swells to about $9.3 million when state taxes are factored in.
Each of these alleged crimes carries a different maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. However, the overwhelming majority have at least a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
The highest maximum penalty for financial crimes is money laundering in excess of $100,000 – carrying a possible 20-year prison sentence – on that front Alex Murdaugh has been charged with at least 11 separate violations. He is also charged with two minor money laundering charges, which carry a maximum sentence of five years. In summary, the money laundering allegations carry at least a maximum sentence of 230 years in prison.
In addition, Alex Murdaugh is charged with at least 20 separate financial crimes, each carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison. The cumulative maximum sentence for these charges adds up to about 200 years or more behind bars.
The remaining 60+ felonies carry at least a combined maximum sentence of over 310 years in state prison.
SEE ALSO: Alex Murdaugh tells jury he ‘lied’ about whereabouts on night of murders but blamed drug use: I would never ‘deliberately’ harm my wife and son
All in all, Alex Murdaugh could be sentenced to over 740 years in a South Carolina correctional facility. However, the total time if he were sentenced for each offense would likely be substantially less, as many if not most sentences would be handed down at the same time – at the same time as the others.
An estimate South Carolina AG bureau spokesman Robert Kittle put Alex Murdaugh’s possible prison sentence at approximately 731 years – based on just 74 alleged crimes.
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