Prosecutors seek lengthy sentence for Alex Murdaugh’s banker accomplice

The South Carolina banker who helped double murderer Alex Murdaugh pull off a $3.7-million fraud deserves a lengthy prison term because of his “continued unwillingness to accept any responsibility,” federal prosecutors have argued.

Prosecutors want Russell Laffitte to get between 9 and 11-and-a-half years when sentenced Tuesday on six counts of financial crimes in helping the 64-year-old disgraced legal scion carry out his massive, widespread cons.

Laffitte “committed serious crimes that undermine the public’s trust in the judicial and banking systems,” they wrote in a 35-page sentencing guideline Thursday.

However, he “has objected to nearly every aspect” of the pre-sentencing report, repeatedly painting himself as yet another victim of Murdaugh, they said.

He “has lied under oath on four different occasions” and “has minimized, deflected, and denied his conduct at every level,” they wrote.

news, alex murdaugh, convictions, fraud, south carolina, white collar crime, prosecutors seek lengthy sentence for alex murdaugh’s banker accomplice

Russell Laffitte was convicted on multiple fraud charges last year.


“To this day, the defendant has failed to take any accountability for his own actions or show any contrition to the victims for the harm his actions caused,” the prosecutors wrote.

Laffitte, the former CEO of Palmetto State Bank in Hampton, was convicted last November on charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and misapplication of bank funds related to helping Murdaugh misapply or mishandle at least $3.7 million.

During the proceedings last year, Laffitte admitted to moving millions of dollars at Murdaugh’s behest, but insisted that he did not know the funds were actually settlement checks intended for the attorney’s legal clients, the Post and Courier explained.

The prosecution, however, presented damning evidence that Laffitte took $680,000 in bank funds to try and cover up his involvement with Murdaugh once the latter’s fraud schemes came to light in the fall of 2021, according to The State.

news, alex murdaugh, convictions, fraud, south carolina, white collar crime, prosecutors seek lengthy sentence for alex murdaugh’s banker accomplice

Alex Murdaugh is accused of defrauding dozens of legal clients over the year.

YouTube / Phone Calls From Prison

The federal attorneys also emphasized that Laffitte and Murdaugh were childhood friends who both came from affluent, influential Low Country families.

In adulthood, Murdaugh famously took the helm at his family’s revered law firm, while Laffitte got a plum position at his relatives’ bank.

news, alex murdaugh, convictions, fraud, south carolina, white collar crime, prosecutors seek lengthy sentence for alex murdaugh’s banker accomplice

Laffitte, seen above, and Murdaugh were childhood friends, the prosecution said.


For years, Laffitte was Murdaugh’s main contact at Palmetto State Bank.

“None of this would have happened without Alex Murdaugh, but none of it could have happened without the defendant,” lead prosecutor Limehouse told the jury in her closing argument, according to The State.

“Russell Laffitte was the banker, the organizer, the one who kept the trains running. Alex Murdaugh was the rainmaker, the one who brought the money in. He (Laffitte) violated the trust of the bank and its customers.”

news, alex murdaugh, convictions, fraud, south carolina, white collar crime, prosecutors seek lengthy sentence for alex murdaugh’s banker accomplice

Murdaugh was convicted in March of the 2021 shooting deaths of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul.


In March this year, Alex Murdaugh was convicted of killing his wife, Maggie, 52, and their 22-year-old son Paul in June 2021 in a bid to cover up his financial crimes.

One month later, a federal judge denied Laffitte’s attempt at an appeal on the grounds that Murdaugh vouched for his innocence, stating that the former lawyer was a “serial liar” who testimony was not credible, Greenville News reported.

As of Friday afternoon, Laffitte’s legal team had yet to file an opposing memo with their own preferred sentencing terms.

news, alex murdaugh, convictions, fraud, south carolina, white collar crime, prosecutors seek lengthy sentence for alex murdaugh’s banker accomplice

Alex Murdaugh is also awaiting trial for a slew of financial crimes.


After his murder conviction, Murdaugh is also awaiting trial on a slew of fraud and tax evasion charges.

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