Alex Murdaugh Accused of Misappropriating Money from Law Firm, Forced to Resign Before Shooting
The South Carolina attorney was confronted by members of his law firm just one day before he was shot in the head by an unknown suspect
South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh is being accused of misappropriating money from his law firm, leading to his resignation just one day before he was shot.
On Friday, members of the Hampton law firm PMPED confronted Murdaugh, 53, about missing money before notifying law enforcement and the South Carolina Bar Association, local newspaper The Island Packet reported. A source told the outlet on Monday night that over $1 million was missing and after being confronted, Murdaugh told his lawyer that he would be resigning.
"This is disappointing news for all of us," PMPED said in a statement obtained by the Island Packet, noting that the firm had cut all ties with Murdaugh. "Rest assured that our firm will deal with this in a straightforward manner. There's no place in our firm for such behavior."
For more on Alex Murdaugh and the murder mystery surrounding his family, and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.
Murdaugh's attorney Jim Griffin told PEOPLE in a statement that "Alex resigned from the firm after being accused of diverting lawyer fees. These allegations prompted him to confront his dependency and he voluntarily checked into an in-patient substance abuse rehab facility after being discharged from the hospital Monday."
According to the Island Packet, a forensic accounting firm is now conducting an investigation into the missing funds.
PMPED did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.
The firm's confrontation with Murdaugh preceded the prominent attorney being shot by an unknown suspect. Murdaugh called 911 on Saturday afternoon at 1:34 p.m. local time after receiving "a superficial gunshot wound to the head," the S.C. Law Enforcement Division said Sunday. He is expected to recover from his injuries and the incident is under investigation.
"He was shot in the head while he was changing a tire," Griffin previously confirmed to PEOPLE. "He is conscious and talking, which is a very good sign."
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
Following Saturday's shooting, members of the law firm went to the scene to report details of the missing money to authorities, who have not commented about whether the situations are linked, according to The Island Packet.
Murdaugh's shooting came less than three months after his wife Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh and son Paul Murdaugh were murdered on the grounds of the family's 1,770-acre hunting lodge. Authorities have also not identified a motive or a suspect in the killings of Maggie and Paul, but their deaths shone a spotlight on a string of mysterious deaths surrounding the family. At the time of his death, Paul was facing charges in the death of a woman in a boating accident.
Despite the new allegations of misappropriated money, Murdaugh's lawyer had said in an earlier statement on Sunday that his resignation from the family law firm was centered on his desire to focus on recovering from the deaths of his wife and son.
"The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life," he said in the statement, which was obtained by The Island Packet. "I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret. I'm resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders."