Curtis “Fast Eddie” Smith, an alleged accomplice in some of disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh’s multi-million dollar fraud schemes, has been quietly arrested and is being held in the Colleton County jail.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office website gives no information about charges against Smith, 61, but says he was arrested by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on Friday.
Smith’s lawyer, Jarrett Bouchette, could not be reached Sunday.
A SLED spokesman said that Smith is part of a state grand jury case, and information in such cases must come from the Attorney General’s office.
Attorney General spokesperson Robert Kittle said in an email to The State and Island Packet, “We do not have a press release ready on Curtis Smith and at this point we are not making any comment.”
Normally, after making charges against suspects, both SLED and the Attorney General’s office issue press releases containing warrants or copies of indictments.
An ongoing grand jury investigation against Murdaugh, set forth so far in 15 indictments, accuses the Hampton lawyer of stealing some $8.4 million in various schemes that targeted his former law firm, fellow lawyers, clients and associates.
What Murdaugh did with much of the missing money has been an area of investigation by SLED agents, according to legal sources familiar with the case. Murdaugh is being held in Richland County jail under $7 million bond.
In recent years, Murdaugh wrote Smith checks for some $2 million from bank accounts Murdaugh controlled during the time he was committing his fraud schemes, according to legal claims filed in Hampton County in December by lawyers Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter.
Bland and Richter, through a civil lawsuit alleging fraud against Murdaugh in the theft of millions from the estate of his deceased housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, have secured a $4.3 million confession of judgment from Murdaugh in that case.
“Smith holds the answers to a lot of things regarding Alex Murdaugh,” Bland said Sunday. “I’ve been wondering why it’s taken so long (to arrest him).”
Bland continued, “The only thing I can surmise on why it took so long .... is that he was talking to the grand jury, and they (SLED) were getting as much information as they could, and they either bled him for what it was worth, or they figured he’s not any further use to them.”
Bland, repeating claims he has made in court and in the December lawsuit, said that what is clear is that Smith “was part of a scheme to help Alex launder money.”
In past comments, Smith’s lawyer Bouchette has portrayed his client as a disabled logger who does odd jobs.
“The man doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of money,” Bouchette told reporters last December. “His current economic status is not someone who has a couple million dollars laying around.”
Smith, a longtime friend and former legal client of Murdaugh’s, has been out on bond since last September, since he was charged with helping Murdaugh in a life insurance scheme.
In that alleged scheme, Murdaugh enlisted Smith to kill him in what authorities say ultimately became a botched suicide attempt by Murdaugh to collect $10 million in life insurance for his surviving son, Buster.
The state grand jury has charged other Murdaugh friends with being accomplices in alleged schemes to launder money: suspended Beaufort lawyer Cory Fleming and former Hampton County bank executive Russell Laffitte.