The allegation came in the federal financial crimes trial of Russell Laffite, the former CEO of Palmetto State Bank who had close ties to the disgraced South Carolina legal scion.
Laffite is on trial for six federal charges — bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of misapplication of bank funds — and Murdaugh is his unindicted co-conspirator.
The former CFO of Murdaugh’s family law firm PMPED, Jeanne Seckinger, told the court during Laffite’s trial Wednesday the family firm confronted Murdaugh about missing money on June 7, 2021, WCBD reported.
That’s the same day Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and son Paul were brutally shot dead, allegedly by Murdaugh himself, according to state prosecutors. He has pleaded not guilty to the murders.
Seckinger testified in the South Carolina District Court that hours before the shootings, the firm approached Murdaugh looking to identify where client settlement cash was, according to WCBD.
She added the firm decided to hold back from further investigating the missing money after Maggie and Paul were murdered, saying it sent the family law firm into a “tizzy,” the local TV station reported.
The former CFO said the company was particularly worried about Murdaugh hiding money from the firm after his son Paul was charged in the boating crash death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach.
Prosecutors believe Laffite helped the accused murderer launder and misappropriate millions of dollars.
The revelation by Seckinger sheds new light on Murdaugh’s mindset in the hours before his wife and son’s death. He goes to trial for their murder in January.
The Post and Courier reported earlier this week that Murdaugh might also be called to testify during Laffite’s trial.