COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has opened an investigation into claims that attorney Alex Murdaugh misappropriated money from the law firm where he worked.
State agents confirmed late Monday they've begun a probe into the allegations which were made by Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick (PMPED), a law firm based in Hampton, South Carolina.
Murdaugh is the lawyer whose son and wife were murdered earlier this year at the family's home.
A week ago, Murdaugh's longtime law firm, PMPED, issued a statement making its claims about Murdaugh and saying it was hiring an accounting firm to fully review its books in the wake of Murdaugh's departure. It didn’t say how much money might be missing, but said Murdaugh was no longer associated with them in any way.
A few days after PMPED made its claim, the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended Murdaugh's law license.
All of those developments happened after Murdaugh said he was shot while changing a tire alongside a road near Varnville, South Carolina. He was taken to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia for his wounds.
Police described his injuries as superficial but a spokesperson for Murdaugh said late last week he had a skull fracture and the bullet gave him an entry and exit wound.
Two days after the shooting, Murdaugh announced he was going to rehab and that he resigned from his law firm. However, the firm made it clear the allegations over the money was what led to the end of Murdaugh's tenure.
Meanwhile, SLED continues to investigate the deaths of his wife Maggie and son Paul in June.
According to police, 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. Investigators have released little information about the case, and there have been no announced arrests or even the naming of a suspect.
“As Chief of SLED, I continue to urge the public to be patient and let this investigation take its course," Chief Mark Keel said while announcing the probe into the financial allegations. "Investigative decisions we make throughout this case and any potentially related case must ultimately withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process. As with all cases, SLED is committed to conducting a professional, thorough, and impartial criminal investigation, no matter where the facts lead us.”
The Associated Press reports that 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. He had pleaded not guilty.
After the deaths of Paul and Maggie, state agents reopened an investigation into a hit-and-run death in 2015 in which the victim's mother allegedly believed Paul may have been involved.
However, according to the Associated Press, authorities haven't said why those cases were reopened.