After nearly six weeks of trial, we know Alex Murdaugh is a lot of things: an admitted liar, an admitted thief, an admitted drug addict who blames his addiction for his foibles. He’s definitely disgraced as a professional in light of all those admissions, and he was disbarred directly in response to his myriad financial high jinks spanning well over a decade.
But as for whether he’s a murderer or not – well the jury isn’t even out: They’ve still got closing statements to consider.
And though he just might not be convicted of murder, he’s still likely to face a substantial prison sentence for those financial crimes after admitting to several of them under oath last week.
During direct examination when he took the stand in his own defense, Alex Murdaugh admitted to vague financial theft and lies to paper over that theft. During the state’s lengthy cross-examination, which largely focused on those financial crimes, the defendant admitted to stealing from no fewer than 18 different clients over the years, as well as from the since-defunct law firm that used to bear his name.
SEE ALSO: Prosecutor ignores murder allegations during Alex Murdaugh cross examination
Spread over 19 different indictments are 99 financial-related charges that include fraud, attempted tax evasion, money laundering, embezzlement, breach of trust with fraudulent intent, obtaining signature or property by false pretenses, computer crimes, forgery, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
According to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, Alex Murdaugh bilked his victims out of at least $8.7 million over the years, a number that swells to roughly $9.3 when considering state taxes.
Each of those alleged crimes carries a varying maximum penalty spanning from one to 20 years in prison. The overwhelming majority, however, have at least a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The highest maximum penalty for the financial crimes is for money laundering in an amount exceeding $100,000 – which carries a potential 20-year sentence – on that front, Alex Murdaugh has been charged with at least 11 separate violations. He’s also accused of two lesser money laundering charges that carry maximum sentences of five years. In sum, the money laundering charges carry at least a maximum sentence of 230 years in prison.
Additionally, Alex Murdaugh stands accused of at least 20 different financial crimes that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison. The accumulated maximum penalty for those allegations adds up to some 200 or more years behind bars.
The remaining 60-plus crimes carry, at the very least, a combined maximum penalty in excess of 310 years in state prison.
SEE ALSO: Alex Murdaugh tells jury he ‘did lie’ about whereabouts on night of murders but blames drug use: I’d never ‘intentionally’ harm my wife and son
All told, Alex Murdaugh could be sentenced to spend over 740 years in a South Carolina correctional facility. The total amount of time, were he to be convicted on each offense, however, would likely be substantially less because many, if not most of the sentences would run concurrently – at the same time as the others.
An estimate from the South Carolina AG’s office spokesperson Robert Kittle pegged the potential amount in time in prison for Alex Murdaugh at some 731 years – based on only 74 alleged crimes.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]