Laffitte, former CEO of Palmetto State Bank, charged with federal fraud – InsuranceNewsNet
A federal grand jury has indicted the former CEO of Palmetto State Bank
The five-count indictment charges Laffitte with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and misuse of bank funds – a range of alleged crimes which have started in
The new indictment echoes felony charges that state investigators brought against Laffitte on
But federal charging documents reveal new details about how Laffitte and Murdaugh’s alleged financial conspiracies worked and how crippling money troubles could have motivated a well-respected, prominent prosecutor to start stealing huge sums from its own customers.
The indictment details Laffitte’s personal involvement in Murdaugh’s alleged robbery. The charging documents reveal several instances in which Laffitte allegedly dumped nearly
efforts to achieve
A close relationship
The federal grand jury alleged that Laffitte was Murdaugh’s personal contact at
But Laffitte did everything but protect his clients’ money, the grand jury said. Instead, the billing documents state:
Laffitte almost loaned out Murdaugh
Laffitte also spent badly
More charges are expected as state and federal investigators continue to unravel a decade-long web of deals in which Murdaugh allegedly stole more than
Laffitte has long been suspected of being the target of the federal Murdaugh investigation.
In January, his own relatives on the
Laffitte hired two expensive defense attorneys, former prosecutors Daniel and
Laffitte has been under house arrest since his
A bond hearing has not been announced on his new charges.
“Personal slush fund”
Laffitte’s schemes date back to
According to the indictment, Laffitte never sought formal authorization for the loans and did not inform his client or the probate court of their existence.
But when his client turned 18 and Laffitte had to repay the loans, he didn’t have the money, the indictment says. Laffitte had to release a
Murdaugh flew over
In a written statement released shortly after Laffitte’s indictment was unsealed, trial attorneys
“The girls saw
In other cases, Laffitte directly facilitated the theft of heaps of money owed to Murdaugh’s clients, the grand jury alleged.
At Murdaugh’s direction, the banker misdirected a
In another case, Laffitte was divided near
Birds of a feather
Laffitte and Murdaugh share more than their alleged financial schemes. Both grew up in wealthy families who wielded great social and political influence in the rural southern corner of South Carolina. And both have embarked on the family business.
Murdaugh’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather served as the elected attorney for the 14th Judicial Circuit, a five-county region covering the swampy southern tip of the state. The family also ran the powerful Hampton-based Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick law firm in Hampton.
Murdaugh was a volunteer badge-carrying attorney for the Advocate’s Office and worked as general counsel at PMPED.
Laffitte, meanwhile, went to work at the century-old bank his family bought for
His father had led
Another bank executive, vice-president
According to that September trial, Murdaugh had advised the governess’s sons
But Westendorf didn’t – not well, at least. Despite accepting a
Under Westendorf’s watch, Murdaugh eventually stole more than
In a February deposition that has fueled scrutiny by