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Alex Murdaugh sentenced to 40 years in prison for financial crimes

CHARLESTON, S.C. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - Alex Murdaugh was sentenced today to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to 22 federal financial crimes charges.

The disgraced former lawyer was also ordered by the judge to pay more than $8.7 million in restitution.

Monday's sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel can be served at the same time as a 27-year sentence previously imposed by South Carolina for related crimes.

"The sentence today was about obtaining justice for the financial victims of Alex Murdaugh. These victims are not just names listed in a court filing. They are real people who trusted an attorney at the most difficult times of their lives. When they had lost loved ones, when they were severely injured, and they were betrayed in those vulnerable moments."

Adair Boroughs, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina

Prosecutors had asked for 30-year sentence, but Judge Gergel went beyond that recommendation saying, "This is a reprehensible crime that deserves the most serious of sanctions."

"He stated his reasons in open court, which are really hard to disagree with. How much of that 40 years will be have to do? I don't know for sure if he'll do any in federal court. It all depends on what happens to the murder convictions obviously," said Jim Griffin, Murdaugh's attorney.

Murdaugh is already serving live in prison without parole for killing his wife and son in 2021, although he is appealing that conviction.

"'They lost their loved ones. They lost their son. They lost their mother, and Alex Murdaugh took advantage of that. And in the pantheon of career criminals, he's going to be on the Mount Rushmore of what he did. He's a convicted murderer. He is now convicted of bank fraud, of money laundering and now tax evasion. He has hit for the cycle. The fear that I had was, he is like a cornered rat. And when you put a rat in a trap, they'll know their leg off. They'll figure out a scheme on how to get out and that's what worried us. That's what worried Justine and me, Mark Tinsley. That somehow Alex would sit in his cell in South Carolina penitentiary and figure out a way to get out. Well today, he was wrapped tight in belt and suspenders and saran wrap. He will not get a breath of fresh air. Hopefully he serves out the double murder convictions. But the backstop was always these financial crimes.'"

Eric Bland, victims' attorney
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