Two days before Alex Murdaugh tried to orchestrate his own murder, he allegedly borrowed $75,000 from his older brother. Now, Randolph Murdaugh IV is coming to collect—joining the chorus of attorneys gunning for the former legal power player’s cash.
In a complaint filed Thursday in Hampton County Court, Randolph Murdaugh IV alleged that on Sept. 2, his brother asked to borrow cash “to cover an overdrawn bank account,” but failed to disclose he was in “poor financial condition” more generally. Days later, the complaint states, Randolph transported his brother to rehab for his decades-long opioid addiction—and paid the $15,000 tab.
Alex Murdaugh, the disgraced scion ensnared in a slew of investigations—including the allegation that he staged a doomed plot to kill himself on Sept. 4 so his surviving son, Buster, could collect his $10 million insurance payout—has not paid his brother back $46,500 he still owes him, the filing claims.
The filing came just before a South Carolina judge heard arguments on whether Murdaugh’s assets should be handled by an independent representative. The Friday hearing on the matter in Chesterfield County came after three attorneys claimed that Murdaugh was trying to conceal millions of dollars that could possibly be bestowed to their clients.
Their motions, which were filed last week, all maintain that Murdaugh has been hiding money by shifting it between several unknown accounts and potentially even selling off property—including a Grady White boat named "Bad Boys"—after he turned all his affairs over to Buster Murdaugh.
“If he doesn’t have the money, what would be the harm in preventing him from spending it?” attorney Mark Tinsley, who is representing the family of a 19-year-old killed in a 2019 crash involving a boat allegedly piloted by the late Paul Murdaugh, said during the hearing. The attorney reiterated that Murdaugh's own lawyers have argued he is broke.
At the end of the hearing, where at least one lawyer argued that Murdaugh's assets should be handled by a receivership, Judge Daniel Hall said he will make a decision next week on whether to appoint a receiver—or financial overseer—or else freeze the assets entirely.
Murdaugh, 53, is currently being held at Richland County Detention Center on charges stemming from an alleged scheme to steal millions from the family of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. He is also facing charges over the alleged insurance plot and has been implicated in a series of lawsuits, including allegations he used a fake bank account to funnel millions from his former law firm and clients. The same account was allegedly used to divert the funds from the Satterfield wrongful death settlement.
Neither Murdaugh’s legal team nor his older brother immediately responded to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.
The allegations at issue in the Friday hearing mirror those laid out in three lawsuits filed in tandem, but separately, by lawyers whose clients have myriad claims against the once-powerful Murdaugh. The motions also featured several documents to argue Murdaugh’s money should be independently handled, including a photo of Buster allegedly taken in a Las Vegas casino in October; a nearly $1 million mortgage pay stub paid to Murdaugh from a property owner; and an online listing for Murdaugh’s 2006 Grady White boat for $114,000.
A spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, however, told The Daily Beast last week that the agency has not received a notice “that the boat has been traded or sold to anyone.”
“Alex Murdaugh has engaged in repeated dishonesty, deception, and fraud. He has shown that he will go to extraordinary lengths to misappropriate, steal, transfer or otherwise dispose of money in a manner that benefits him or his family, with complete disregard for the interests of third persons,” one of the motions, which were not filed jointly but which all have similar language, said.
In addition to Tinsley, Joe McCulloch, the lawyer for one of the teenagers aboard the boat during the crash who alleges Murdaugh tried to scapegoat him for the incident, and Eric Bland—who represents the Satterfield family—also filed motions to secure Murdaugh’s assets.
In June, Paul Murdaugh and his mother, Margaret, were found murdered outside their Hampton County estate. At the time, Paul was facing charges for the 2019 boat crash, which killed teenager Mallory Beach.
During Murdaugh’s bond hearing on the housekeeper charges last week, prosecutors likewise claimed that he has been selling off assets, including an interest in a Beaufort Hunting Club and his own boat, and asked his finances be frozen. Prosecutors also noted that the money Murdaugh allegedly stole from the Satterfield wrongful death lawsuit was used to pay off his $100,000 credit card bill before he transferred about $300,000 to his late father and $735,000 to himself.
“Certainly, if Alex Murdaugh is capable of apparently diverting stolen assets in this manner, he is also capable of diverting legitimate assets,” one of the motions states, noting that at least half of the $4.3 million settlement bestowed to the Satterfield family remains unaccounted for.
“While the power of attorney may have some legitimate purposes for someone unable to manage their own finances, the power of attorney also provides a mechanism for Buster Murdaugh to transfer, sell or otherwise handle Alex Murdaugh’s assets in a manner that diverts the assets,” the motions added.
As for his brother’s allegations, according to the Thursday complaint, Murdaugh has been selling assets and applying the proceeds to known debts.
“Upon information and belief these debts are at Palmetto State Bank and at the rehabilitation facility that was treating Defendant for his drug addiction,” the complaint states. “One asset Richard Alexander Murdaugh, Jr. was attempting to sell was a Kubota tractor and another was a rotary cutter. After receiving offers from uninterested potential buyers of these items, Richard Alexander Murdaugh, Jr. offered these items for sale to Randolph Murdaugh, IV for the same price, in exchange for cancellation of debt by Randolph Murdaugh, IV.”
The complaint states that Randolph Murdaugh has “purchased these items in exchange for cancellation of Forty-Three Thousand Five Hundred and 00/100 ($43,500.00) Dollars in debt” that his brother owes him.
The complaint adds that of the total $90,000 loan owed to Randolph Murdaugh, about half has still not been paid and now Murdaugh is in “default on the loans.”
“Randolph Murdaugh, IV request the court to give credit for the sale of the above equipment and thereafter order judgment against Defendant in the amount of Forty-Six Thousand Five Hundred and 00/100 ($46,500.00) Dollars,” the complaint adds.