Court documents filed in Hampton County, South Carolina, show Murdaugh wired $147,000 on behalf of John Martin, the owner of Martin’s Funeral Home LLC, from the local Palmetto State Bank to Southeastern Bank in Georgia Jan. 7, 2020. Russell Laffitte, the since-fired CEO of Palmetto State Bank, later signed off on the wire.
Martin used the money to secure the purchase of what was formerly known as Hall Jones & Brown Funeral Home in Brunswick, Georgia.
His company owns a funeral home in Estill, South Carolina, located in Hampton County, where Murdaugh’s great-grandfather founded a personal injury law firm more than a century ago in 1910. The prominent legal family for 86 consecutive years also ran the local solicitor’s office, where Murdaugh still served as a volunteer prosecutor until September.
A cursory review of Murdaugh’s financial records does not indicate Martin ever repaid Murdaugh.
Martin has not responded to subpoenas about the transaction, so Tuesday’s filing asked the court to compel the funeral home operator to provide such requested records.
The court documents were filed by a law firm representing the two receivers appointed in November 2021 to manage Murdaugh’s finances to prevent the former lawyer from liquidating assets while the mother of boat crash victim Mallory Beach still pursues a lawsuit against the powerful family and other parties.
Murdaugh’s son, Paul Murdaugh, was charged with boating under the influence in the February 2018 crash that killed 19-year-old Beach and injured several other teenage passengers.
Paul Murdaugh and his mother, Maggie Murdaugh, were shot and killed in a double homicide on the family’s hunting estate in Colleton County, South Carolina, June 14, 2021. In the aftermath of the still unsolved murders of his wife and younger son, Alex Murdaugh allegedly hatched a botched suicide-for-hire scheme as a slew of suspected financial fraud crimes came to light.
Those allegedly victimized by the embezzlement plots include the sons of his dead housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, the family of a deaf quadriplegic man, a former highway patrolman injured in the line of duty and other former legal clients.
Murdaugh has been jailed at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County since October.
Through 15 indictments containing 75 charges against Murdaugh, a South Carolina grand jury has indicted Murdaugh for schemes to defraud victims of nearly $8.5 million. Last month, the state for the first time indicted an alleged co-conspirator, Cory Fleming, accusing Murdaugh’s close friend and former college roommate in alleged schemes to defraud victims of more than $3.6 million.
Laffitte, also implicated in the alleged fraud schemes, was fired from Palmetto State Bank’s CEO in January and has reportedly been cooperating with investigators.