Trial date set for former bank executive linked to Alex Murdaugh

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The multiple indictment former CEO of Palmetto State Bank will appear before a federal judge in November.

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

Court documents indicate his trial is scheduled to begin November 8 in Charleston.

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

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 conservator for the attorney’s personal injury clients by giving himself $355,000 in personal loans and $900,000 USD in personal loans made to the attorney from funds held at the bank. That money, prosecutors say, belonged to personal injuries.

According to the indictment, Laffitte knew the borrowed funds were used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in overdrafts and that he knew the money used to pay off the loans was stolen from other personal injury clients.

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

It is also alleged that on July 15, 2021, he extended a $750,000 business loan knowing it was unsecured and that the loan was to pay an attorney and cover hundreds of thousands of dollars on an overdrawn bank account would be used.

The bank terminated Laffitte in early 2022, court documents say.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on November 8th and last through November 18th.

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