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  • A banker accused of helping disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh take money from the legal settlements of clients is the first person to stand trial in the sprawling rural South Carolina legal drama that has captivated true-crime audiences. Former Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte faces wire fraud and bank fraud charges in federal court. Murdaugh is playing a key role in Laffitte's defense. They say Laffitte was only following Murdaugh's instructions and didn't willfully participate in the fraud. Prosecutors say Laffitte knew what he was doing when he effectively worked as Murdaugh's personal banker. Murdaugh is facing murder charges in connection with the shooting deaths of his wife and son. Prosecutors have not alleged any connection between Laffitte and those slayings.
  • A former nursing director has pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about providing fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. Authorities say they got a complaint last September that Tammy Huston McDonald filled out cards last summer for people she knew were not vaccinated. Federal agents then confronted the Columbia, South Carolina, nurse in October and said she falsely claimed that she had never given anyone a fake vaccination card. Now she faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. Attorney Corey Ellis says that as a registered nurse, she knew better and owed more to her community.
  • The FBI in North Carolina is warning businesses in eight states about a scheme in which people are using stolen credit card numbers to make large purchases by telephone. A news release from the agency's Charlotte Division on Monday says victims have been targeted in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The FBI said that so far in 2022, more than 100 businesses have been targeted, including tire stores, furniture stores, lumber companies, trailer businesses, and appliance stores.
  • Newly unsealed court documents show the former top executive for the contractor hired to build two South Carolina nuclear reactors that were never finished won't face criminal charges. The Post and Courier reports former Westinghouse CEO Danny Roderick is now a government witness for a federal investigation into the failed multibillion project to build the reactors at the V.C. Summer site. The records unsealed last week show Roderick could testify against a former employee facing felony charges tied to the 2017 debacle. Roderick told investigators that former Westinghouse official Jeff Benjamin lied to him about the status of the project. Three executives have already pleaded guilty in the fraud investigation.
  • A prominent South Carolina lawyer surrendered on Thursday to face insurance fraud and other charges in a failed plot to arrange his own death. Alex Murdaugh turned himself at the Hampton County jail ahead of a bond hearing. State police say Murdaugh tried to arrange his death Sept. 4 so his surviving son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy. The State Law Enforcement Division has now been asked to open six investigations involving the Murdaugh family, including the unsolved killings of Murdaugh's wife and son and now the previous death of their housekeeper.
  • Charleston resident Frank Abagnale has helped the FBI and numerous government agencies and corporations detect and stop fraud for more than 40 years. His…
  • More than $2 million is lost to fraud in South Carolina every year, says Juliana Harris of the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs. The…