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Former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh disbarred amid money laundering charges

New details emerge in Murdaugh murder mystery
"48 Hours": Family of Murdaugh victim shares details of mysterious boat crash death 03:39

Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been disbarred by the state's Supreme Court for "admitted reprehensible misconduct." Since his initial arrest last year, Murdaugh has been accused of money laundering and fraud charges, but he could also be charged with murder later this week, his attorney said Tuesday.

"Based on his admitted reprehensible misconduct, we hereby disbar respondent Richard Alexander Murdaugh from the practice of law in South Carolina," the Supreme Court said in an order signed by all five court justices on Tuesday. 

The disbarment comes after Murdaugh, 54, was hit with his 16th indictment for an alleged eight-year money laundering and painkiller ring with a friend and former client, who also allegedly agreed to help Murdaugh kill himself so his surviving son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.

Also on Tuesday, Murdaugh's attorney Jim Griffin said he is expecting his client to face murder charges some time this week. 

"We have not been advised by anyone associated with law enforcement or the attorney general's office that Alex will be charged with murder," Griffin said in a statement. "I am aware that SLED (the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) advised the family that they intend to seek murder indictments from a grand jury later this week. We won't have any comment until charges are actually brought against Alex." 

In a statement, SLED spokeswoman Renée Wunderlich declined to confirm any upcoming charges. 

"SLED's investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh is still active and ongoing," Wunderlich said. "Agents are committed to the integrity of the investigation, thus no additional information from SLED will be provided at this time."

Still unsolved are the shooting deaths of Murdaugh's wife and younger son outside their home in June 2021. Their killings are not referenced in any of the new indictments, and both Murdaugh and Smith have adamantly said they had nothing to do with them.

In his Tuesday statement, Griffin did not specify if the possible murder charges were in connection to his family's shooting deaths.

The former attorney also faces a slew of charges ranging from lying to police and trying to arrange his own death, to stealing money from clients, to arranging $4.3 million in wrongful death settlements for a housekeeper who died in a fall at his home, then not giving her family a dime.

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