Former attorney Cory Fleming will serve 46 months in federal prison and pay $102,221 in restitution for his involvement in the scheme to steal millions from the Satterfield family.

Moments after Judge Richard Gergel announced his sentence on August 15, Fleming voluntarily surrendered and was escorted out of the U.S. District Court in Charleston by U.S. Marshals. He requested to serve his time at FCI Jesup–a medium security prison in Georgia. It has not been decided where he will be sent.

The sentencing came after Fleming pled guilty to one count of federal conspiracy to commit wire fraud in May 2023. He was facing a maximum of 5 years and a fine up to $150,000. He admitted guilt during his sentencing and apologized to the victims for the first time today. Tony Satterfield and Pamela Pinckney both spoke and said they forgave Fleming.

Fleming’s guilty plea came after he was accused of assisting longtime friend Alex Murdaugh in stealing an estimated $4.3 million from the Murdaugh family housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. 

After Satterfield’s death on Murdaugh property in February 2018, Fleming became the family’s representative in the wrongful death claims against Murdaugh’s insurance policies.  

Both of Murdaugh’s policy holders settled the estate’s claims; Nautilus Insurance Company for $3.8 million and Lloyd’s of London settled for $505,000. 

However, court records show Fleming pulled money out of the Satterfield’s settlement funds and claimed them as legal expenses. 

Prior to the sentencing, Judge Gergel’s office and the US District Court media liaison told our team that all electronics would be prohibited from the courtroom, including cell phones and laptops.

Many of our Lunashark Premium Members directly contacted Judge Gergel’s office to reconsider the prohibition on media access to electronics and allow members of the media to bring devices inside. 

A spokesperson for Judge Gergel stated that due to technical difficulties and ongoing construction, a media room was not provided for members of the media.

“We’ve been attempting to set up the necessary equipment for a media room but have been unsuccessful to this point due to technical problems,” the response read. “The answer [is] that we do not know if we can get it together in time for this hearing.”

Later we were told by email, “Sorry for the late reply. This email address is only reviewed a couple of times a day. Once this hearing started we moved away to our regular jobs.”

Judge Gergel also mentioned the requests at the beginning of court and clarified that it was due to technical difficulties.

Just two weeks ago, Gergel allowed journalists to use electronics in a media room during the sentencing for Russell Laffitte, the former Palmetto State Bank CEO. 

Laffitte, another Murdaugh co-conspirator, was found guilty of misappropriating more than $3.7 million from client settlement funds and was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison and ordered to pay over $3.55 million in restitution. 

Laffitte and Fleming may serve out their sentences in the same prison. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Limehouse prosecuted the case against Fleming, alongside Kathleen Stoughton and Winston Holliday.

Nautilus Insurance Company is also suing Murdaugh for the $3.8 million in stolen funds, although Murdaugh’s legal team argued that the wrongful death settlement should be vacated altogether. 

In June 2023, Murdaugh’s legal team filed a Motion to Quash Subpoenas following requests from the Bland Richter Law Firm. 

“To date, the children of Gloria Satterfield have not received the first dollar,” the Satterfield family’s attorneys wrote in court documents filed in September 2021 (linked below). 

“The plaintiffs are victims. The plaintiffs are vulnerable. The plaintiffs are scared,” the summons continued. “ By this action, the plaintiffs seek real answers to their questions surrounding the death of their mother and the disposition of the monies supposedly paid for their benefit.”

Read the original subpoena request and motion to quash here.

Follow Sam Berlin

Sam Berlin

Sam is an award winning-journalist originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and currently living in Brooklyn, New York.

She graduated from Syracuse University in 2020 where she studied magazine journalism, photography, and sociology.

She joined Luna Shark Media in 2023 where she assists with research, producing, recording and editing for True Sunlight and Cup of Justice podcasts.

Through her detailed, ethical reporting and multimedia experience, Sam creates enterprise stories and works to unravel the truth around her.

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