The South Carolina lawyer convicted Thursday, March 2, of murdering his wife and son in 2021 is also accused of stealing millions from his clients. Murdaugh reportedly stole nearly $1 million from one of his clients, who was a quadriplegic.
Alex Murdaugh, 54, was on trial for the Walterboro double murders, and prosecutors noted that he also stole millions of dollars from his clients.
One of those clients, Hakeem Pinckney, was just 19 years old when he was left paralyzed after a car accident in 2009. One of the car’s tires came apart, and the car rolled several times, also injuring his mother, Pamela Pinckney, his sister, Shaquarah, who suffered from scratches and his cousin, Natasha Thomas, who suffered from a facial injury.
The Pinckneys’ story has resurfaced due to Murdaugh’s murder trial.
Pinckney had been a student-athlete at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, where he played on the football team. His mother said Pinckney, who was deaf, “got thrown out on his head, so he had a spinal cord injury.”
“They operated on him. He ended up paralyzed, a quadriplegic,” Pinckney added.
The family hired Murdaugh, who sued the tire company for damages and secured the family a multimillion-dollar settlement. The former attorney is accused of using the cooperation of a banker who was a conservator in the case to steal some $1 million from the family.
Prosecutors said the disgraced attorney used some the funds to charter a private jet to attend a baseball game.
Murdaugh also is accused of exploiting Pinckney by using footage of him being fed through a straw in a 2021 promotional video he appeared in for a company that creates videos for defense attorneys.
In the video, Murdaugh said, “I can’t tell you how many times we have used your videos in mediation and seen the attorneys on the other side moved to tears.”
Prosecutors argued that Murdaugh killed his wife and son to avoid investigations that would have exposed his fraud in this case and others. Hakeem died in October of 2011 from cardiac arrest after his ventilator was unplugged at his North Augusta nursing home for more than 30 minutes. He died just four days after Murdaugh won the family the settlement.
Attorney Justin Bamberg, one of the lawyers currently representing the Pinckney family, told CNN that there is nearly $1 million missing from the family’s settlement. A conservatorship had been set up for Thomas and Pinckney by Murdaugh following the accident, who then went on to “borrow” from those accounts.
“He was a predator,” said Bamberg. “Alex Murdaugh was a predator who did not care about your life circumstances…. Almost a million dollars is gone and unaccounted for and no one knows where it’s at.”
Murdaugh later admitted to stealing from his clients and said he was “embarrassed.”
The 54-year-old was indicted with his banker Russell Laffitte and his friend and lawyer Cory Fleming.
The indictment claimed that the three men conspired to steal some of the Pinckney’s settlement funds to pay off other conservatorship accounts that Murdaugh had stolen from previously. A check for $309,581 was issued to a Murdaugh family member and a $130,192 was paid to a private jet company Murdaugh used.
Pamela Pinckney told NBC News that she is still in disbelief over Murdaugh’s schemes.
“He painted a pretty picture in front of my presence. But behind my back, it was otherwise,” she said. “I was just in disbelief. Up until this day, it’s like it just doesn’t seem real to me, what really took place and what happened. … I want every penny of what I’m going through right now: my pain, my suffering, my anxiety, my depression I want what’s due to me.”
She also spoke with Fits News and said her trust was broken by Murdaugh. “To know that you put your trust and your emphasis in someone who says they have your best interest in mind, and looks you in your face, and tells you and your entire family that they have your best interest — that you got us 100 percent,” she said.
“And then you go and you steal from us, even though you got paid through legal fees to work the case, then you turn around and you steal on top of that from the family. And my son is deceased. That really it tears me apart literally every day.”