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New investigation launched into Alex Murdaugh over claims he misappropriated funds

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 The South Carolina Law Enforcement division confirmed to DailyMail.com they have officially opened an investigation into claims of Alex Murdaugh’s misappropriation of funds from Peters Murdaugh Parker Elztroth & Detrick

Alex Murdaugh is the subject of a criminal investigation over allegations that he misappropriated funds from the private law firm of which the South Carolina legal scion was a partner, DailyMail.com can reveal.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) issued a statement in which they announced that they have opened an investigation into Murdaugh late Monday afternoon.

In making the announcement SLED Chief Mark Keel said, ‘As Chief of SLED, I continue to urge the public to be patient and let this investigation take its course.’

The announcement follows last week’s revelation that Murdaugh had allegedly misappropriated millions of dollars from Peters Murdaugh Parker Elztroth & Detrick (PMPED).

He was pushed out of the firm, deprived of his license to practice law and has since issued a public apology of sorts and stated that he has entered rehab for opioid addiction following a bizarre roadside shooting incident last Saturday.

SLED’s announcement of their investigation into Murdaugh is the latest development in a story that began three months ago with the brutal slaying of Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, 52, and younger son Paul, 22, on the family’s hunting estate of Moselle, in Islandton, South Carolina.

Alex Murdaugh, right, allegedly checked into rehab for drug addiction months after his wife and son were shot dead in June, while facing claims he stole money from his family's law firm

Alex Murdaugh, right, allegedly checked into rehab for drug addiction months after his wife and son were shot dead in June, while facing claims he stole money from his family’s law firm

It was Murdaugh who made the frantic 911 call shortly after 10pm June 7 in which he told the dispatcher that he had returned home to the gruesome scene of his dead wife and son’s bodies near dog kennels on the property.

In what appeared to be a nod to growing impatience over the lack of any suspect or information on either Maggie and Paul or Alex’s shootings, Chief Keel noted, ‘Investigative decisions we make throughout this case and any potentially related cases must ultimately withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process.

‘As with all cases SLED is committed to conducting a professional, thorough and impartial criminal investigation, no matter where the facts lead us.’

EXCLUSIVE: Surviving heir to South Carolina legal dynasty Buster Murdaugh, 25, is seen for the first time since father Alex’s world imploded after murder of wife and younger son, embezzlement accusations and drive-by shooting

Seen for the first time since his father’s world imploded with the murders of his younger son and wife, revelations of drug addiction, embezzlement and a bizarre drive-by shooting, this is ‘Buster’ Murdaugh, sole surviving heir to his father’s South Carolina legal dynasty.

These exclusive pictures obtained by DailyMail.com show Richard Alexander ‘Buster’ Murdaugh Jr. and a family member at the family’s Edisto Island property in South Carolina.

Buster, 25, refused to answer DailyMail.com’s questions when approached but did acknowledge that he had spoken to his father in recent days.

He would not say when he saw his father last, what he thought would happen next or answer any questions about Murdaugh’s injuries or recovery.

He said, ‘I have no interest in commenting on any of y’all’s questions.’

Speculation as to Buster’s whereabouts has been rife in the days since his father called 911 to claim that he had been shot while attempting to fix a tire just seven miles from the family’s hunting estate of Moselle.

Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show Richard Alexander 'Buster' Murdaugh Jr. at the family's Edisto Island property in South Carolina

Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show Richard Alexander ‘Buster’ Murdaugh Jr. at the family’s Edisto Island property in South Carolina

It's the first sighting since his father Alex Murdaugh was involved in a drive-by shooting, accused of embezzling and revealed he had a drug addiction

It's the first sighting since his father Alex Murdaugh was involved in a drive-by shooting, accused of embezzling and revealed he had a drug addiction

It’s the first sighting since his father Alex Murdaugh was involved in a drive-by shooting, accused of embezzling and revealed he had a drug addiction

Buster, 25, refused to answer DailyMail.com's questions when approached but did acknowledge that he had spoken to his father in recent days

Buster, 25, refused to answer DailyMail.com’s questions when approached but did acknowledge that he had spoken to his father in recent days

He was seen with a woman believed to be a family member arriving at the family beach home early Friday afternoon

He was seen with a woman believed to be a family member arriving at the family beach home early Friday afternoon

Dressed casually in flip-flops, chinos and a white T-shirt bearing the logo Blue Heaven, Buster packed up belongings and loaded them into a waiting Cadillac

Dressed casually in flip-flops, chinos and a white T-shirt bearing the logo Blue Heaven, Buster packed up belongings and loaded them into a waiting Cadillac

Buster said when approached for comment, 'I have no interest in commenting on any of y'all's questions'

Buster said when approached for comment, ‘I have no interest in commenting on any of y’all’s questions’

Neighbors at the waterside enclave recalled the Murdaughs as a family who 'kept themselves to themselves' during their summers at the beach home (pictured)

Neighbors at the waterside enclave recalled the Murdaughs as a family who ‘kept themselves to themselves’ during their summers at the beach home (pictured) 

According to Murdaugh’s account a truck passed him then circled back outside St John Baptist church on Old Salkehatchie Road next to where he was parked up. Murdaugh told officers that the driver wound down his window and shot at him.

The shocking turn of events has catapulted the family back into national headlines following the brutal slaying of Buster’s mother, Maggie, 52, and younger brother, Paul, 22, on June 7.

Buster is seen with his mother Maggie, 52, who was found shot dead in June

Buster is seen with his mother Maggie, 52, who was found shot dead in June 

It was Alex Murdaugh, 53, who discovered his wife and son’s bodies near dog kennels on the property and called 911 shortly after 10pm that evening.

According to investigators mother and son were killed between 9 and 9.30pm. Paul suffered fatal shotgun wounds to the head and torso. His mother was killed with a semi-automatic rifle.

Murdaugh was visiting his sick father in hospital on the night of the shooting – Randolph Murdaugh III died three days later after a long battle with cancer.

What little information has emerged since, has only served to deepen the mystery surrounding the events on the Islandton estate in June and Murdaugh’s more recent road-side shooting.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) have remained tight-lipped and no suspects in either event have been named nor descriptions given.

However, on Monday it was revealed that officers are now retracting a police report from the shooting that initially said there were no visible injuries to Murdaugh.  

Soon after he reported himself shot it emerged that Murdaugh had been accused of misappropriating millions of dollars from private law firm Peters Murdaugh Parker Elztroth Detrick (PMPED) of which he was a partner.

Hot on the heels of news that he had been pushed out of the firm which has now called in forensic accountants to dig into the alleged embezzlement, Murdaugh issued a public statement in which he claimed that he was an opioid addict, apologized for the hurt he had caused and announced he was entering rehab.

He has now lost his license to practice law.

Throughout this turmoil older son Buster has remained entirely hidden.

The last time Buster was seen was during the rainy funeral service for his brother Paul and mother Maggie on June 11. He's seen receiving a hug

The last time Buster was seen was during the rainy funeral service for his brother Paul and mother Maggie on June 11. He’s seen receiving a hug 

On June 7, Alex Murdaugh (right) discovered his son Paul and wife Maggie (center) dead at the dog kennels on the family property

On June 7, Alex Murdaugh (right) discovered his son Paul and wife Maggie (center) dead at the dog kennels on the family property 

According to investigators mother and son were killed between 9 and 9.30pm. Paul suffered fatal shotgun wounds to the head and torso. His mother was killed with a semi-automatic rifle

According to investigators mother and son were killed between 9 and 9.30pm. Paul suffered fatal shotgun wounds to the head and torso. His mother was killed with a semi-automatic rifle

Moselle Hunting Lodge where Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were gunned down June 7. Their bodies were discovered by Murdaugh by the dog kennels

Now DailyMail.com can reveal that he and a woman believed to be a family member arrived at the family’s beach home early afternoon Friday.

Working diligently and conversing little the two began packing up belongings and loading them into a waiting Cadillac.

They carried multiple grocery bags of possessions, including toilet-paper, soft furnishings, a woven laundry basket and tall houseplant.

Dressed casually in flip-flops, chinos and a white T-shirt bearing the logo Blue Heaven, Buster occasionally checked his cell phone as he walked up and down the back stairs of the pale grey clapboard house.

Buster has been named along with his father in a wrongful death-suit brought by the family of Mallory Beach.

The 19-year-old was killed in a fatal boating accident in February 2019 when Paul, ‘intoxicated’ and ‘belligerent’ ploughed his father’s boat into a piling in Archers Creek after an afternoon of drinking at an oyster roast.

Paul was one of six teenagers described by police as ‘grossly intoxicated’ that night. He was awaiting trial on three felony counts of boating under the influence, including boating under the influence resulting in death, a charge which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

He had been released on a $50,000 bond pending his trial. All charges were dismissed two months after his death but the wrongful death suit being brought by Mallory’s mother, Renee, is still being pursued.

Buster is named as it was his license that Paul used to purchase the alcohol that night – a practice which, lawyers for Beach allege, was both common and done with Buster’s knowledge.

Speculation as to Buster's whereabouts has been rife in the days since his father called 911 to claim that he had been shot while attempting to fix a tire just seven miles from the family's hunting estate of Moselle

Speculation as to Buster’s whereabouts has been rife in the days since his father called 911 to claim that he had been shot while attempting to fix a tire just seven miles from the family’s hunting estate of Moselle

Buster has been named along with his father in a wrongful death-suit brought by the family of Mallory Beach

Buster has been named along with his father in a wrongful death-suit brought by the family of Mallory Beach

Crime scene tape is visible on the stretch of Old Salkehatchie Road where Alex Murdaugh reported having been the victim of a drive by shooting Saturday 

Last week DailyMail.com revealed that Murdaugh’s insurance company Philadelphia Indemnity have refused to pay out on two personal injury policies to the tune of $6million.

According to court records seen by DailyMail.com Indemnity found that they had ‘no obligation’ to defend or indemnify Murdaugh or his older son for a host of reasons.

The company stated that Murdaugh, ‘had knowledge or should have had knowledge that his minor son illegally purchased and consumed alcohol on a regular basis by using or displaying the driver’s license of his adult son, Murdaugh Jr.’

They continued, ‘It was foreseeable that Murdaugh’s son would purchase alcohol for consumption by other minors and would then become intoxicated.’

Attorneys for Beach have since filed yet more paperwork in the wrongful death suit stating their intention to come after Murdaugh’s two properties – the hunting lodge and the Edisto Island beach house at which Buster busied himself Friday afternoon.

Neighbors at the waterside enclave recalled the Murdaughs as a family who ‘kept themselves to themselves’ during their summers at the beach home. One who knew Maggie described her as simply, ‘wonderful.’

 

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