South Carolina Attorney Cory Fleming Sentenced to 20 Years for Fraud Scheme


The drama of Alex Murdaugh took another twist as Cory Fleming, a once-practicing South Carolina attorney and close confidant of Murdaugh, received a sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. His guilty plea was for charges arising from his collaboration with the convicted murderer, leading to the theft of millions of dollars from a couple of clients.

At 54, Fleming was dealt his sentence within the confines of a Beaufort County courtroom, acknowledging his component in the extensive plot with Murdaugh to swindle two of the latter’s clients. Predominantly, the stolen funds originated from an insurance settlement that Fleming facilitated for Gloria Satterfield’s estate. Satterfield, the Murdaughs’ household help, lost her life following an unfortunate stumble accident within the Murdaugh residence in 2018, leading to a still ongoing investigation into her demise.

Moreover, Fleming faced accusations of stealing from the Pinckney family, relatives of Hakeem Pinckney, who suffered grave injuries from a car accident in 2009 leading to his death in 2011. Prosecutors implicated that the recompense intended for the Pinckneys and the Satterfields was instead funneled into a sham bank account, only to be utilized by both Murdaugh and, on some occasions, Fleming.

Judge Clifton Newman delivered Fleming’s sentence, asserting that the disgraced lawyer had to “endure the repercussions of his deeds,” emphasizing that his victims were helpless individuals who had placed their trust in him as their advisor.

Fleming, who is fulfilling a federal sentence of three years and ten months after confessing to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, had made an agreement with the state and federal law enforcement to cooperate. Despite this, his sentence in relation to the state charges is significantly more lengthy.

He will likely continue his time, extending over 15 additional years, in state captivity once his federal duration comes to an end.

“You will find no denial from me today. There’s truly no excuse. The responsibility for my actions weighs solely on me”, stated Fleming, dressed in a striped prison uniform and restrained by handcuffs, expressing his remorse and acknowledging his blunders in front of the court.

Despite his lawyer’s plea to equate the state sentence to his client’s federal sentence, Judge Newman sentenced Fleming to consecutive 10-year sentences on each of the state counts; that included one decade for his offenses against the Satterfield family, followed by a subsequent decade for his actions against the Pinckney family.

Attorneys Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter, representing the Satterfields, expressed their belief in the robust foundation of the justice system after the verdict. They stated the Satterfields were pleased that justice had been served concerning Fleming’s criminal activities against Gloria Satterfield’s estate and her sons.

Meanwhile, Alex Murdaugh, who lost his credentials to practice personal injury law, is actively appealing his conviction for the murder of his wife and adult son. Despite this, his lawyers recently requested a timeout on the appeal as they lay allegations of jury rigging while seeking a retrial. The judiciary has not yet reached a decision concerning their request for a retrial. Currently, Murdaugh services two concurrent life sentences in a South Carolina state prison.

Murdaugh is expected to face a federal judge in the near future, presumably to admit guilt to almost two dozen charges of fraud and financial crimes that are yet to be judged, as befitting an agreement of cooperation, as stipulated by Murdaugh’s defense team.

Additionally, Murdaugh is due to appear before a jury in November, the first of 101 state charges aligning with victims’ claimed losses of nearly $8.8 million, as alleged by prosecution. His deceitful actions during his murder trial – pleading guilty from the stand – are used as evidence of his fraudulent schemes. Members of his previous law firm were subpoenaed to share testimonies about their increasing suspects and subsequent discovery of his thievery and falsehood months preceding the murders.

Sporting an orange correctional jumpsuit, Murdaugh once again faced Judge Newman – the same judge who formerly sentenced him to concurrent life sentences. The purpose of this meeting was to disclose the trial dates for the state financial crimes he is charged with, tentatively fixed for November 27 in Beaufort County. These charges are linked to the stolen insurance settlement, amounting to millions from Satterfield’s estate.


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