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Hampton law firm says Alex Murdaugh misappropriated money, was forced to resign

Hampton law firm says Alex Murdaugh misappropriated money, was forced to resign

Alex Murdaugh, whose wife and son were shot to death nearly three months ago, has been accused of taking money from his family law firm, the firm said Monday night.

Murdaugh has also entered a drug treatment center to care for his substance abuse, attorney Jim Griffin said Monday night

Alex Murdaugh was confronted by members of his law firm on Friday over the missing money, and he told the lawyers he intended to resign, Griffin said.

In a statement to The Island Packet, the PMPED law firm confirmed that Murdaugh resigned on Friday after the firm discovered he had “misappropriated funds.”

“This is disappointing news for all of us,” the statement said. “Rest assured that our firm will deal with this in a straightforward manner. There’s no place in our firm for such behavior.”

The statement said Murdaugh was no longer associated with the firm “in any manner.” The firm said it notified law enforcement and the S.C. Bar Association about the missing funds.

A forensic accounting firm will investigate, the statement said.

Alex Murdaugh in a courtroom on the Facebook page of the law firm Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick.

Alex Murdaugh in a courtroom on the Facebook page of the law firm Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick.

On Monday night, the law firm’s internet site — Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth and Detrick — was taken down and replaced with this message: “This website is temperarily (sic) unavailable.” Earlier Monday, the site had listed Alex Murdaugh as a member.

Two sources in South Carolina’s legal community familiar with the case characterized the amount of money suspected to have gone missing as substantial.

“It is a ton of money,” one source said.

“It is over $1 million,” another source said.

Griffin said that on Saturday, members of the Murdaugh law firm had gone to a rural Hampton County road where Alex Murdaugh had reported being shot. At that scene, Murdaugh law firm members talked to State Law Enforcement Division agents and told them about the missing money at their law firm, Griffin said.

Asked if the S.C. Law Enforcement Division was investigating the alleged misappropriated funds, spokesperson Tommy Crosby said he had “no information that I can comment on.”

The misappropriated funds were first reported Monday by The New York Times.

On Saturday, Alex Murdaugh reported that he was shot by an unknown assailant while changing a tire on old Salkehatchie Road outside the town of Hampton.

Griffin, his lawyer, told reporters Saturday that Murdaugh was on his way to Charleston when he had car trouble and stopped. He said a passing truck stopped and turned around and someone inside shot him.

SLED did not specify what occurred in the shooting.

After the shooting, Alex Murdaugh was airlifted to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah while SLED agents and Hampton County law enforcement combed the road where he was shot for evidence.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for Alex Murdaugh released a public statement saying in part, “I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret. I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders (of wife Maggie and son Paul).”

“I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt including my family, friends and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.”

Griffin said Monday night that Alex Murdaugh has been released from the Savannah hospital and entered a rehabilitation facility for treatment for substance abuse.

“He is expected to recover from the gunshot wound,” Griffin said.

Griffin did not specify what type of drug Alex Murdaugh had problems with.

But two legal sources familiar with the matter said it was oxycodone.

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