South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh is accused of diverting funds into a fraudulent bank account
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murdaugh family
Credit: Hampton County Detention Center

Alex Murdaugh's former law firm filed a lawsuit against him today, claiming he stole money from the firm and its clients and deposited it into a fraudulent bank account.

The lawsuit filed by Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick Wednesday alleged that Murdaugh "was able to covertly steal these funds by disguising disbursements from settlements as payments to an annuity company, trust account or structured settlement for clients or as structured attorney's fees that he had earned when in fact they were deposited into the fictitious account at Bank of America."

According to the lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE, the firm, which was founded by Murdaugh's great-grandfather in 1910, became aware of the alleged scheme on Sept. 2 after they looked into the status of a fee owed to the law firm that Alex had worked on with another law firm.

"PMPED received a check for its expenses incurred during the course of that litigation but not a check for the fees owed to PMPED," the lawsuit states. "Questions regarding the check for the fees owed to PMPED failed to produce a satisfactory explanation."

Alex Murdaugh
Alex Murdaugh
| Credit: Facebook

The lawsuit alleges they later found a check on Murdaugh's desk from the other law firm.

"According to the notation on the check, it was a partial payment of the fees at issue," the lawsuit states. "However, the check was made payable to 'Alexander Murdaugh, Esq.' and not PMPED. It had been deposited into a personal account for Alex Murdaugh and not PMPED."  

The lawsuit states the finding caused the law firm to review prior settlements involving Murdaugh.

According to the lawsuit, Murdaugh was confronted on Sept. 3 and allegedly "admitted to converting monies owed to PMPED and its clients to his own personal use."

They requested he resign on Sept 3.

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In a statement about the lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE, the firm said it "seeks discovery on where the ill-gotten funds went and if any of it is hidden away."

murdaugh family
Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh

The law firm is also "requesting to know whether Murdaugh has entered into any agreements that involve future payments related to books, interviews or other publicity," the statement reads.

The day after Murdaugh was asked to resign, he was shot in the head while allegedly attempting to change a tire on the side of a desolate South Carolina road. It was later discovered that Murdaugh attempted to arrange his own shooting death in order for his son to receive millions in life insurance, according to police.

Murdaugh's wife Maggie and son Paul were murdered on the grounds of the family's 1,770-acre hunting lodge in June.

Authorities have also not identified a motive or a suspect in the killings of Maggie and Paul, but their deaths spotlighted a string of mysterious deaths surrounding the family.

Attorneys for Murdaugh could not be reached for comment.