The sons of the housekeeper who died following a ‘trip and fall’ accident at Alex Murdaugh’s remote hunting lodge have filed a court petition to have him arrested for his role in allegedly defrauding them out of a $4.3million life insurance settlement, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The filing, obtained by DailyMail.com and filed in Hampton County Court Monday, is designed to compel Murdaugh to come before a judge and answer questions over his handling of the settlement of which Gloria Satterfield’s sons never saw a dime.
It is the latest move in Brian Harriot and Michael ‘Tony’ Satterfield’s bid to recover money they claim was misappropriated by the disgraced legal scion after he counseled them to bring a wrongful death suit against him following the 57-year-old housekeeper’s death in February 2018.
Attorneys for Satterfield’s sons filed their initial complaint against Murdaugh, Chad Westendorf, a banker with Palmetto State Bank, Corey Fleming – the attorney who represented them in the wrongful death suit – and others on September 15.
The sons of Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield (left) have filed a court petition calling for Alex Murdaugh’s arrest claiming he helped defraud them out of a $4.3M life insurance settlement
Murdaugh, who comes from a lineage of men who held the top prosecutor post in several South Carolina counties, was arrested and charged with arranging his own death by hiring a hitman to kill him on September 4. He has been released from jail and is currently in an out-of-state drug rehab facility
That complaint alleges that Murdaugh told the boys to bring a wrongful death suit against him and steered them towards the services of attorney Corey Fleming as the person best suited to take care of their interests.
He did not inform them that Fleming was his former University of South Carolina roommate, nor that he was his best friend and godfather to Paul.
According to that initial complaint Murdaugh, Fleming and banker Westendorf then conspired to defraud the sons.
Now, the latest documents filed in court yesterday provide new and shocking details of the scheme, alleging that, unbeknownst to Satterfield’s sons, an initial settlement of $505,000 had already been reached when they were advised to surrender their legal status as representatives of their mother’s estate.
According to Satterfield and Harriot’s attorneys, ‘Gloria and her family viewed themselves as an extension of the Murdaugh family.’
‘Tony and Brian trusted Murdaugh – and had no reason not to.’
Murdaugh introduced the young men to Fleming, and, in the fall of 2018, it was Fleming who, the papers state, ‘advised Tony and Brian that they would be better served if Tony ceased his role as Personal Representative of his mother’s Estate and if that role were entrusted to the Vice President of Palmetto State Bank, Chad Westendorf, as there would be ‘business issues’ arising that were beyond Tony’s experience.’
Satterfield’s sons duly renounced their right. At the time neither had been told of any ‘meaningful developments’ in connection with the claim.
On December 18, 2018, Westendorf was appointed by the Hampton County Probate Court as the personal representative of the Estate of Gloria Satterfield.
Paul and Maggie Murdaugh (together left) were shot dead on June 7. Alex Murdaugh has since been accused of (center) orchestrating a separate shooting to kill himself with the help of a hitman, in a scheme to deliver a $1 million life insurance payout to his other son Buster (right) as the elder Murdaugh faced investigation over misallocated funds
The Moselle Hunting Lodge where Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were gunned down June 7. The family’s housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, 57, also died at the lodge under mysterious circumstances in February 2018
One day later, on December 19, 2018, Fleming filed a petition to approve a settlement of $505,000.
The men went onto negotiate a much higher sum – $4.3million – $2.76million of which should have been paid to the sons but was, in fact, paid into a business account controlled entirely by Murdaugh.
According to the petition the settlement was approved by a judge despite never being officially filed on record. Instead, it was processed on the judge’s belief that assurances she had been given that the sons were fully informed were true.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has since opened a new investigation into Satterfield’s death on the request of Hampton County Coroner, Angie Topper.
No autopsy was conducted into the housekeeper’s death which was found to be of ‘natural causes’ – a finding that, according to Topper, was inconsistent with a ‘trip and fall.’
Murdaugh’s life has imploded, and his reputation been left in tatters since the brutal shooting of his youngest son Paul, 22, and wife Maggie, 52, on June 7.
Paul was awaiting trial on felony charges in connection with the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach – killed in a boating accident in February 2019 – at the time of his own death.
He was reportedly drunk, belligerent and at the wheel on the night of the accident. If convicted, he faced up to 25 years in prison.
According to the complaint, Satterfield’s sons claim Murdaugh and attorney Corey Fleming conspired against them by urging them to surrender their roles as representatives of their mother’s estate and then defrauding them of a multimillion-dollar settlement
It was Murdaugh who called 911 to report the grisly discovery of Paul and Maggie’s bodies near kennels on the family’s 1700-acre hunting estate of Moselle, just outside the town of Hampton.
In the weeks since that shocking event Murdaugh’s life has spiraled at a dizzying rate. He has been charged with embezzling millions from Peters Murdaugh Parker Elztroth & Detrick, the family law firm of which he was a partner.
Murdaugh issued an apology of sorts, told of his regret for decisions he had made and revealed himself to be an opioid addict before announcing that he was going into rehab for his problem.
Within a day of his ousting from PMPED– which has consistently sought to distance itself from him – Murdaugh was caught up in a bizarre incident in which he claimed to be the victim of a roadside shooting.
His story quickly unraveled and he admitted to SLED that he himself had orchestrated the shooting, calling former client and distant cousin, Curtis ‘Eddie’ Smith, and asking him to shoot him in the head so that his surviving son, ‘Buster,’ 25, could claim his $10million life insurance.
Both Smith and Murdaugh have been charged in relation to the incident with Murdaugh facing three charges; insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report.
In a bond hearing during which saw him bonded out on $20,000, Murdaugh’s attorney Dick Harpootlian described his client’s position as ‘financially ruinous.’
Murdaugh’s life has spiraled since his arrest. He later issued an apology of sorts, told of his regret for decisions he had made and revealed himself to be an opioid addict before announcing that he was going into rehab for his problem
Alex Murdaugh and wife Maggie. Satterfield’s family sued Murdaugh Wednesday claiming he had not paid out ‘one single dime’ of the settlement reached for her ‘wrongful death’
At the time of his arrest, DailyMail.com exclusively revealed, that Murdaugh was involved in an ongoing court battle against his insurance company’s refusal to pay out in relation to the wrongful death suit with which he and son, Buster, had been hit following Mallory Beach’s death.
The suit was brought by Mallory’s mother, Renee, against Murdaugh as the owner of the boat who allegedly knew that his son had been drinking and Buster whose ID Paul illegally, and allegedly habitually, used to buy alcohol.
Philadelphia Indemnity’s refusal to indemnify or cover Murdaugh, nullifying policies totaling up to $6million has since been ratified in federal court.
The Murdaugh family once dominated this patch of South Carolina with a legacy of influence borne of three generations during which a Murdaugh held the role of 14th Circuit Solicitor, charged with prosecuting criminal cases across several counties.
Alex’s father, Randolph Murdaugh III was the last family head to hold the role serving between 1985 and 2005.
Now Murdaugh has been barred from practicing law anywhere in the circuit his forebearers once ran, and police statements suggest that the enquiries into criminal activity sparked by Maggie and Paul’s death grow more wide-ranging by the day.
A criminal investigation into the suspicious death of local teen Stephen Smith has also been reopened. Case records obtained by DailyMail.com revealed that Buster Murdaugh’s name came up multiple times in the investigation into the death that was ruled a hit and run after his body was found in the middle of a country road.
Records show that investigators followed up on tips seeking to know more about Buster’s relationship with Smith.
Family murders, deaths, drug addictions, thefts and arrests: The riddles facing investigators who’ve now charged Alex Murdaugh
2015: Teenager Stephen Smith dies
Smith was found on the side of the road.
Cops investigating the double murder have also reopened the case into a 2015 hit-and-run of teen Stephen Smith
Police officially rule his death a hit-and-run but he had suffered blunt force trauma to the head
His mother has since shared her belief that she thinks he was killed in a hate-crime because he was gay
Case notes obtained by DailyMail.com revealed Paul’s older brother Buster was named multiple times in the investigation.
Police wanted to know more about his relationship with Stephen
Stephen’s mother said he had been having a ‘fling’.
In a deposition years later, one of Paul’s friends said the family had ‘covered’ other killings up.
He mentioned Smith’s death.
2018: Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield dies
Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Sattlerfield dies
Gloria died after ‘falling’ down the stairs in the family house
The family gave her family $500.000 in a wrongful death settlement but it’s unclear why her death was ruled to be their fault.
Alex Murdaugh was listed as the defendant in the lawsuit.
Satterfield was only 57 when she died.
She left behind a husband and children.
Her death was also mentioned in the deposition by Paul Murdaugh’s friend.
2019: Mallory Beach dies being thrown from boat driven by Paul Murdaugh
Mallory Beach, 19, died in February 2019
Paul was charged afterwards because he’d been drinking and was behaving ‘belligerently’ that night.
He had been released on bond.
Other kids were on the boat but were unharmed.
One testified that they were scared to speak about the Murdaugh family because they knew how to ‘cover things up’.
That boy named Stephen Smith and the housekeeper, and claimed Paul pushed her
June 7 2021: Paul and Maggie are murdered
The mom and son were found shot dead at the family home in Hampton, South Carolina.
Alex Murdaugh says he found them at the home.
The medical examiner said the pair had been dead for an hour at most when he discovered them.
Alex’s son Paul, 22, (left) and wife Maggie, 52, (right) were found dead from multiple gunshot wounds on June 7 at the family hunting lodge
Alex’s father Randolph Murdaugh III died ‘peacefully’ at home three days after Maggie and Paul were found shot dead
June 10 2021: Alex’s 81-year-old father Randolph Murdaugh III dies ‘naturally’ and ‘peacefully’ at home
September 3: Alex resigns from his law firm amid claims he misused funds
The firm has hired a forensic investigator to go through the accounts
September 4: Alex calls 911 claiming he’s been shot in the head in a drive-by.
He only had ‘surface’ wounds and was also able to call his brother
September 6: Alex resigns from his law firm
The South Carolina legal scion releases a statement confirming his resignation from the firm and announcing he has entered rehab
He said: ‘I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated these murders.’
September 16: Alex turns himself into police over insurance fraud scheme
Murdaugh handed himself over to cops in connection to insurance fraud scheme where he arranged his own killing so that his surviving son could collect $10 million payout.
He faces charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report.