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Alex Murdaugh sentenced to 40 years in federal prison, on top of life, for stealing from clients

The judge sentenced Murdaugh to more time than prosecutors were asking for.

Published: April 1, 2024 11:43am

Disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh was sentenced Monday to 40 years in federal prison for stealing from his law firm and his clients, although he is already serving a life sentence for murdering his wife and son.

Murdaugh pleaded guilty in September 2023 to 22 federal charges, including bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

The government had recommended Murdaugh be sentenced to prison for less than 22 years, but South Carolina-based U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel took a harsher approach, per The Associated Press.

Gergel said he sentenced Murdaugh to 40 years because he stole from "the most needy, vulnerable people," including a client who became a quadriplegic following a crash and a state trooper who was injured at work.

"They placed all their problems and all their hopes on Mr. Murdaugh and it is from those people he abused and stole. It is a difficult set of actions to understand," the judge said. 

Murdaugh was also ordered to pay $9 million in restitution.

The disbarred attorney was sentenced in March 2023 to life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and his 22-year-old son, Paul. Murdaugh has denied the murders. 

Even if the murder convictions are overturned on appeal, Murdaugh will still likely serve all 40 years in prison.

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