Cory Fleming, a South Carolina Attorney, Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Financial Fraud, In a significant development in the ongoing legal saga surrounding Alex Murdaugh, the South Carolina Attorney General, Alan Wilson, has responded to Murdaugh’s motion for a new trial based on allegations of jury tampering during his murder trial. While Wilson concedes that a hearing may be necessary to determine if Murdaugh deserves a new trial, he also moved to dismiss the motion on the grounds of a procedural defect in the filing.
This response marks the first official statement from the state regarding the bombshell motion filed by Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys, Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian, who accused Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill of pressuring jurors to return a guilty verdict.
The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has initiated an investigation into these allegations, which Attorney General Wilson confirms is still ongoing. However, Wilson also states that the investigation has revealed significant factual disputes regarding the claims made in Murdaugh’s motion.
Murdaugh’s Recent Court Appearances
On a separate legal front, Alex Murdaugh, who is currently serving a life sentence for the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul, appeared in court again. This time, he faces a string of financial fraud charges. Judge Clifton Newman set a trial date for November 27.
A notable figure in this tangled web of legal troubles is Cory Fleming, a former South Carolina attorney and a longtime friend of Alex Murdaugh. Fleming was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to state charges related to his involvement in helping Murdaugh steal millions of dollars from his clients.
The Stolen Funds and Victims
The majority of the stolen funds were derived from an insurance settlement that Cory Fleming helped secure for the estate of Gloria Satterfield. She was the Murdaugh family housekeeper who tragically died in a “trip-and-fall” accident at the Murdaugh home in 2018. An investigation into her death has been reopened in connection with these financial crimes.
Cory Fleming is also charged with stealing from the family of Hakeem Pinckney, who suffered severe injuries in a car crash in 2009 and passed away in 2011. Prosecutors assert that the settlement money, intended for the Pinckney and Satterfield families, was diverted to a fake bank account and used by Murdaugh and, in some instances, by Fleming.
Judicial Sentencing and Accountability
Judge Clifton Newman, who delivered the sentence to Cory Fleming, emphasized that the disbarred attorney must take responsibility for his actions. He noted that Fleming’s victims were “vulnerable people” who had placed their trust in him as their attorney.
Cory Fleming is currently serving a federal sentence of three years and 10 months after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. His federal sentence was set to run concurrently with the state sentence, meaning he will likely spend more than 15 additional years behind bars in a state prison.
Fleming, in a statement to the court, accepted full responsibility for his actions, expressing profound disappointment in himself and acknowledging the lasting impact of his decisions.
Next Steps for Alex Murdaugh
Alex Murdaugh, a disbarred personal injury attorney, is currently appealing his conviction for the murders of his wife and son. However, his attorneys have also requested the suspension of this appeal as they pursue a new trial based on their allegations of jury tampering. The court has yet to make a decision on this motion for a new trial.
Meanwhile, Murdaugh is scheduled to appear before a federal court judge next week. It is expected that he will plead guilty to nearly two dozen charges related to fraud and financial crimes, pending a cooperation agreement with his defense team.
Additionally, Murdaugh is set to stand trial in November on the first of 101 state charges, with alleged total losses to victims amounting to nearly $8.8 million, according to prosecutors. These state charges serve as evidence of his deceit, as they were admitted during his murder trial.
Alex Murdaugh, clad in an orange South Carolina Department of Corrections jumpsuit, learned about the trial date for the state financial crimes he faces during this recent court appearance. The trial is scheduled for November 27 in Beaufort County, South Carolina.
Details In Short:-
- Date: On September 14, 2023.
- South Carolina Attorney General’s name: Alan Wilson
- Mention of Alex Murdaugh’s motion for a new trial.
- Grounds for the new trial: Jury tampering allegations.
- Reference to “significant factual disputes” with the claims.
- Mention of the need for a potential hearing.
- Reference to a “procedural defect” in the filing.
- Accusations against Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill.
- Launch of an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
- Confirmation of the ongoing status of the SLED investigation.
- Alex Murdaugh’s appearance in court for financial fraud charges.
- Trial date set by Judge Clifton Newman: November 27.
In the realm of South Carolina’s legal landscape, Cory Fleming, a prominent attorney, has taken center stage. His recent sentencing to 20 years in prison for financial fraud adds another layer to the complex legal saga surrounding Alex Murdaugh. While Murdaugh faces murder charges, Fleming’s involvement in diverting millions of dollars from clients has garnered significant attention. This case underscores the importance of accountability in the legal profession. With investigations ongoing and legal battles intensifying, the future remains uncertain for both individuals. As the story unfolds, it serves as a reminder of the intricate and sometimes startling developments within the realm of South Carolina law.