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Alex Murdau banker found guilty of plotting to steal money from client’s legal settlement

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Banker disqualified to be a lawyer is prosecuted Alex Murdau Receiving money from a client legal settlement was found guilty of wire and bank fraud charges late Tuesday in South Carolina.

Former Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Lafitte was allowed to remain out on bail as he awaits sentencing at a later date. Each of his six charges on which he was convicted in federal court carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

This was the first trial associated with the sprawling Murdoh courtroom drama to captivate true crime viewers.

Murdo He has been charged with murdering his wife and son, and his murder trial is set to begin in January. He also faced nearly 100 crimes, from money laundering to drug offenses, theft from clients, and trying to arrange his own death to receive a $10 million life insurance payout for his surviving son. I’m here.

Murdow, 54, was not in federal court in Charleston, but Lafitte’s trial was looming.

The 51-year-old Lafitte did not deny that Murdau’s financial handling helped his lawyers steal from clients, but in his own defense he accused him of being deceived, according to news outlets. I testified in federal court.

When prosecutors asked Lafitte if he stole, he replied, “I did, but I didn’t steal on purpose.”

Prosecutors had to prove that Lafite had knowingly participated in the fraud in order to convict him.

Prosecutors say Lafitte knew what he was doing when he was effectively working as Murdeau’s private banker, and eventually went to court for his underage client settlement. became a manager appointed by

Lafitte lent Murdeau and himself money from these settlements, diverting the money to personal injury or death cases.

Murdow had a plan to steal the money, but he needed someone organized and detail-oriented to prevent an easy catch, prosecutor Emily Limehouse said in closing remarks. rice field.

“Without Alex Murdau, none of this would have happened, but without the defendants, none of this would have happened,” Limehouse said.

Through both Lafitte’s testimony and other witnesses, the defense attorney tried to show that the banker was merely trying to follow the instructions of one of his biggest clients, was lied to and manipulated. It was made.

Defense attorney Matt Austin said in his closing remarks, “He admits he did it all. He doesn’t think he’s committing a crime.”

Prosecutors, however, noted that Murdau delivered the Lafite check to the bank, not to the client. This prevents the lawyer from diverting cash to people he owes money, whether it was his law firm who was stealing money or other clients he was stealing money from. or had already stolen money from his family.

This also allowed Lafitte to avoid paying taxes.

Lafitte was found guilty of one each of bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, and three counts of misappropriation of bank funds. He is also facing his 21 financial crimes in state court.

Last year Murdau was disqualified and Lafitte was fired.

The Murder Murders also appeared in Lafitte’s trial. On June 7, 2021, Murdow’s wife Maggie, 52, and her 22-year-old son Paul (Paul) were shot dead with another gun outside their Colton County home.

An employee of Lafitte’s bank testified that he had confronted Murdeau in the hours before the killings about not receiving a commission from one of the cases. No mention is made of whether there is a connection between the incidents.

Murdeau and Lafitte are both from small Hampton counties. Murdoh’s family law firm dominated the legal profession, and his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were elected prosecutors in the area for his 87th consecutive year.

The Laffitte family founded the Palmetto State Bank, which in 2019 earned a premier reputation leading to accolades including being named Banker of the Year by the Independent Bank of South Carolina.

And like many small towns, their families were intertwined. On the day his wife and son died, the law firm employee who confronted Murdeau about the missing money was Jeanne Sekinger, Lafite’s sister-in-law.

More than a third of the witnesses in Lafite’s trial were his relatives, most of whom testified for the prosecution.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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