Alex Murdaugh was also found guilty of murdering his wife and son in March
Convicted murderer and disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh pleaded guilty to 22 financial crimes Friday, the South Carolina Attorney General's office confirms to PEOPLE.
The plea deal between Murdaugh and prosecutors was struck Friday in a Beaufort courtroom. He was scheduled to go on trial Nov. 27 before the plea deal. Murdaugh pleaded guilty to multiple charges including money laundering, breach of trust and financial fraud.
"I am happy to be pleading guilty to these charges for a number of reasons," Murdaugh told the court, NBC News reported.
If the agreement is approved, he would serve 27 years for the financial crimes, CNN reported.
"This is a win for the victims and for justice in South Carolina. We hope the families he betrayed and stole from feel a little peace that he is going to serve time for those crimes," state Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "It doesn't matter your last name, your position, or your connections — no one is above the law in South Carolina."
His victims included the family of his longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died in a mysterious trip and fall.
“He's a modern-day monster. He’s the devil," attorney Eric Bland who represented the Satterfield family as well as others, tells PEOPLE.
A well-known attorney in the South Carolina Lowcountry region, Murdaugh came into the national spotlight after he came home on the night of June 7, 2021, to find his wife, Maggie, 52, and youngest son, Paul, 22, shot to death on the grounds of their hunting lodge.
In July 14, 2022, more than a year after Paul and Maggie's deaths, Murdaugh was indicted for the murders. Murdaugh's murder trial began on Jan. 23, 2023. During the sensational trial that lasted for nearly six weeks, a cell phone video Paul took on the night of the murders was shown to the jury.
The video — which was taken near the dog kennels on their Islandton property — featured the voices of Paul, Maggie and Murdaugh. Murdaugh had initially denied being near the dog kennels on the night of the murders, but when he was testifying in his own defense, he admitted to lying about his whereabouts that evening.
"I lied about being down there, and I'm so sorry that I did," Murdaugh testified.
He was found guilty of the murders in March and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
After the guilty verdicts were read in Murdaugh's murder trial, lead prosecutor and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Creighton Waters said in part at a news conference: "Alex Murdaugh tried one last con to prevent the accountability he has never had to face in his life, but the jury saw through that and properly found he murdered his wife and son in cold blood."
Sentencing by a judge for the financial crimes is scheduled for Nov. 28.
At sentencing, Murdaugh’s victims “will get a chance to look Alex Murdaugh in the eye and his lawyers and tell them how they feel about him, how he manipulated them, and the damage that they have done to them in their lives," Bland and his partner Ronnie Richter said in a statement. "I have no doubt that at Alex Murdaugh will never get a fresh breath of air outside of state prison, and if he lives long enough in federal prison.”
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