Was Bank of America complicit in Murdaugh’s schemes?
Cover by Alex Murdaugh
The Murdaugh family saga has dominated the news after another shootout, resignation and criminal charges – with Alex Murdaugh at the center of it all. Here are the latest updates on Alex Murdaugh.
Lawyers for Alex Murdaugh’s late housekeeper have filed a lawsuit against Bank of America, alleging the bank authorized Murdaugh to open and use a bank account to launder millions of stolen money.
Murdaugh, 53, whose license was suspended in September and who has since been charged with numerous financial crimes, opened a bank account under the name “Forge” to deposit ill-gotten gains, according to the lawsuit. “Forge” is the name of a well-known financial consulting firm.
“Bank of America aided and abetted Murdaugh’s financial crimes and money laundering,” says the lawsuit.
The lawsuit against Bank of America was filed in Hampton County State Court in South Carolina on Monday, said Eric Bland, the attorney who, along with Ronnie Richter, represents the heirs of the 4.3 estate. million dollars from Gloria Satterfield.
Bank of America officials pushed back on Monday and, in a statement, said the allegations would not stand in court.
“There is no basis for this lawsuit and we ask the court to dismiss it,” Bank of America spokesman Bill Halldin said.
“Make no mistake, the perpetrator here was Mr. Murdaugh, and the embezzlement of these funds happened far from Bank of America,” Halldin said. “We were not aware of any theft and followed standard account opening procedures for a sole proprietorship. “
Bland and Richter had negotiated with Bank of America to settle the case without legal action being filed. The negotiations did not succeed and this trial is the result.
In previous lawsuits, Bland and Richter have mentioned Bank of America as the bank Murdaugh uses, but Monday’s lawsuit was the first time the bank has been named a defendant and an accomplice in Murdaugh’s alleged money-making schemes.
“By slumbering their own rules and ignoring banking customs, Bank of America helped Murdaugh set up his fake Forge accounts, which Murdaugh funded with stolen money. … Once in possession of his ill-gotten gain, Murdaugh engaged in other suspicious banking behavior (that) Bank of America should have identified, ”the lawsuit said.
“In addition, Murdaugh transferred huge sums of money stolen from his fake Forge accounts to a personal checking account that Murdaugh also established at BOA. From one of those accounts, Murdaugh separately issued 254 personal checks to ‘Cousin’ Eddie (Smith) for a total of $ 1,825,560.95, ”the lawsuit said.
“Murdaugh did not act alone. Bank of America is a money launderer’s bank. Bank of America is a fraud bank. They are nothing more than a high-tech laundromat, ”the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said the Murdaughs are and were “the preeminent legal family in the (Hampton County) area” and that Satterield had been the family housekeeper for over 20 years. She was told she was “an extension of the Murdaugh family”.
Satterfield died of injuries sustained in a fall at the Murdaugh House, and the $ 4.3 million insurance proceeds from her death – which should have gone to her two sons – were instead stolen by Murdaugh, according to the lawsuit.
Bank of America should have detected Murdaugh’s scheme and closed the bank accounts it was using, according to the lawsuit. Murdaugh operated “two fake Forge accounts” as well as his personal Bank of America account, according to the lawsuit.
Bank of America failed to require proper account opening documents for Murdaugh accounts, allowed withdrawals to evade currency transaction reporting requirements, allowed fraudulent deposits, and allowed the issuance of numerous cashier’s checks to from the fake Murdaugh Forge accounts, according to the lawsuit.
“The conduct of the BOA impacts the public interest as the integrity of the banking system is essential and integral to consumer confidence and the health of the US economy itself,” said declared the lawsuit, which called for at least $ 4.3 million in damages.
Bland said the heirs were already in line to raise a total of more than $ 6 million from others involved in Murdaugh’s theft of Satterfield’s money. These potential defendants have chosen to settle the legal claims of the Satterfield heirs rather than being sued, Bland said.
The lawsuit also contained an affidavit from Michael Virzi, professor of ethics at the University of South Carolina School of Law, in which he claimed that Murdaugh adopted a model of conduct with others to embezzle money. of the legitimate heirs of Satterfield.