CHARLESTON, S.C. (WSAV) — The former Lowcountry bank CEO accused of helping Alex Murdaugh steal millions from his clients is now in front of a federal judge.

Pre-trial motions started in Russell Laffitte’s federal case Monday in a Charleston court.

Laffitte, the fired Palmetto Bank CEO is facing six charges including three counts of misapplication of bank funds, and one count each of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

He is accused of helping conceal Alex Murdaugh’s thefts of insurance settlements from his clients.

Prosecutors say the pair then used the money as a personal “slush fund” to help them cover up their crimes.

In an exclusive interview posted this weekend by reporter Sara Davenport, Laffitte talked about Murdaugh, the man he once called a “friend.”

Interview with Russell Laffitte by Sarah Davenport

“A manipulative egomaniac,” said Laffitte. “He used our relationship going back decades from being kids growing up next door to one another and familial relationships. He used that and manipulated us because he knew we wouldn’t question it as much as we would someone else. Now that it is said and done and you can look back, you can see exactly how he did it.”

Jury selection in Russell Laffitte’s trial starts Tuesday. It is expected to last two weeks.

Alex Murdaugh faces more than 90 charges connected to these alleged financial schemes. None of those in Federal Court.