Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was hit with new tax evasion charges – about five weeks before he is slated to go to trial for the alleged murders of his son and wife.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Friday the fresh indictment accusing Murdaugh of nine counts of tax evasion for failing to report $6,954,639 of illegally earned income between 2011 and 2019.
He allegedly failed to cough up $486,819 in taxes to the state for the allegedly ill-gotten gains. The charges carry up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 plus the cost of prosecution.
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The latest counts are modest additions to the 90 financial crimes charges Murdaugh already faces from 18 other indictments, according to the attorney general.
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Murdaugh, 54, stands accused of schemes to defraud victims out of $8,789,447.77.
However, the fallen scion of a once powerful legal dynasty is headed to trial Jan. 23 in the Colleton County Courthouse, where a portrait of his grandfather hangs on the wall, on his most important case.
Prosecutors say he gunned down his 22-year-old son, Paul Murdaugh, and his 52-year-old wife, Maggie Murdaugh, June 7, 2021, near the dog kennels at the family’s estate.
In a motion filed earlier this month, state prosecutors suggested that the family patriarch shot his son and wife over mounting debts and fear his decades-long corruption schemes would be exposed.
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The unraveling of the Murdaugh dynasty began in 2019, when Paul Murdaugh drunkenly crashed his father’s boat into a bridge, killing his friend Mallory Beach and injuring four others.
The accident triggered a series of lawsuits against the family and brought scrutiny on Alex Murdaugh’s suspect business practices.
His attorney, Jim Griffin, did not immediately return a request for comment. Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty in the murders.
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