Alex Murdaugh sentenced to 40 years for federal financial crimes

A judge on Monday sentenced Alex Murdaugh, the former South Carolina attorney who was earlier convicted of killing his wife and son, to another 40 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to federal financial crimes last year.

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Murdaugh, 55, was sentenced on 22 financial fraud and money laundering charges. He is already serving two life terms in a state prison for the murders of his wife and son.

Murdaugh sentenced to 40 years

Update 11:25 a.m. EDT April 1: Murdaugh was sentenced to serve 40 years in federal prison, The Post and Courier reported. He will serve the sentence concurrently with his state sentences, according to the newspaper.

Before U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel handed down the sentence, Murdaugh addressed the court and apologized to his victims.

“I am filled with sorry and I am filled with guilt over the things that I did to these people that I care about,” he said, according to The Post and Courier.

He will also be required to pay $8.7 million in restitution, the newspaper reported.

Original report: The fraud charges are the last outstanding for Murdaugh, according to The Associated Press.

In September, Murdaugh pleaded guilty to swindling his clients out of millions of dollars while working as a prominent personal injury lawyer from at least September 2005 to October 2021.

“Alex Murdaugh’s financial crimes were extensive, brazen, and callous,” U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs said last year. “He stole indiscriminately from his clients, from his law firm, and from others who trusted him.”

He agreed to cooperate with investigators and make full restitution in a plea agreement reached with prosecutors. However, authorities asked a judge last week to find that he violated the agreement, saying he failed a polygraph examination in October 2023 about hidden assets and another attorney’s involvement in his schemes.

Prosecutors earlier agreed to ask the court to allow Murdaugh to serve his federal sentence at the same time as he serves any sentence from a state court. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years for the most serious federal charge filed against him.

In a report prepared by federal officials, authorities recommended that Murdaugh be sentenced to between 17 and 22 years in prison. In November, a South Carolina judge sentenced him to 27 years in prison for stealing millions from his clients, his family and his law partners, WSOC-TV reported.

People affected by the theft addressed Murdaugh during his sentencing last year.

“I’ve been waiting on this day to look you in your eyes,” J.J. Jinks, a victim and lifelong friend of Murdaugh’s, said in court, according to the Greenville News. “I trusted you with everything… what kind of animal are you?”

Murdaugh apologized, blaming his addiction to prescription pills and denying that he killed is wife and son, the newspaper reported.

A jury last year found Murdaugh guilty of killing his wife, 52-year-old Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, and his son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh. They were found shot dead at the family’s home in Colleton County on the night of June 7, 2021.

His attorneys are appealing his conviction.