Trial date for ex-bank executive linked to Alex Murdaugh set

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The former Palmetto State Bank chief executive charged with multiple charges will appear before a federal judge in November.

A federal grand jury has indicted Russell Lucius Laffitte with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and misuse of bank funds.

Court documents say his trial is set to begin Nov. 8 in Charleston.

Laffitte is accused of helping former Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh and suspended attorney Cory Fleming embezzle nearly $2 million from clients in three separate proceedings.

The indictment alleged that Laffitte conspired with a bank client, identified in court documents as an attorney for a Hampton County law firm, while serving as a custodian for the attorney’s clients. in bodily injury by granting him $355,000 in personal loans and $900,000 in personal loans. to the lawyer from funds held in the bank. That money, prosecutors said, belonged to clients who suffered bodily harm.

The indictment alleged that Laffitte knew the loaned funds were used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in overdrafts and that he knew the money used to repay the loans was stolen from other clients for personal injury. bodily.

The indictment also twice alleged that he misappropriated bank funds. On October 28, 2021, Laffitte allegedly paid the company $680,000 without notice or consent from the bank in a fraudulent wire transfer.

He also alleges that on July 15, 2021, he made a business loan of $750,000, knowing that it was unsecured and that the loan would be used to pay for a lawyer and to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars on a overdrawn bank account.

The bank fired Laffitte in early 2022, according to court documents.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Nov. 8 and last until Nov. 18.

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