In March 2012, Florida Polo Mogul, John Goodman was convicted of Vehicular Manslaughter, following the death of 23 year old Scott Wilson, more than two years ago.
Forty eight year old Goodman had gotten into his Bentley after have one too many drinks of alcohol, and following a collision with the recent engineering graduate, Wilson died.
Naturally, Goodman was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and eventually murder.
In the meantime, Wilson’s parents, both residents of Wellington, Florida, sued Goodman in civil court for the wrongful death of their son.
In April 2012, a jury returned a guilty verdict and awarded the Wilsons forty six million dollars. Each of Wilson’s parents received, one million dollars, for each year Wilson lived.
To protect his assets and perhaps to escape paying the judgment, Goodman placed all his assets, believed to be several hundred million dollars, in an irrevocable trust for his children.
Due to the type of trust that Goodman set up, particularly because he is not a beneficiary of the trust, creditors, nor judgment-holders could reach it.
However, to maneuver the trust/wills laws, Goodman adopted his 42 year old girlfriend, a mother of two children of her own.
The result of the adoption is that the adopted girlfriend is now a beneficiary who can control at least one third of the assets of the trust. Ideally for Goodman, of course, is to vicariously control the trust via his adopted girlfriend; at least that is what some believe.
Apparently, the Florida family court judge who ruled that judgment-holders and creditors, alike, can reach the trust agrees with the above-mentioned reasoning.
As of April 2012, Goodman agreed to pay the forty six million dollar judgment.
Moreover, it appears that matters are suddenly going well for Goodman, in that his attorneys convinced a Florida judge to let him out of prison, where he has been since his March 2012 conviction DUI Murder conviction.
Although the release is basically tantamount to house arrest, Goodman has been released on 7 million dollars bail that his brother and sister paid on his behalf.
Due to the fact that Goodman is appealing his conviction, he is legally allowed to be free on bail, provided he complies with specific requirements.
Goodman is not allowed to attend or host parties, nor may he socialize, attend polo matches, or drink alcohol, and he must wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet at all times.
As well, Goodman is only allowed two visits from friends at a time, and he cannot leave the grounds of his estate unless he is leaving for church.
Additionally, he had to surrender his passport and pay for 24 hour surveillance, contracted through the local sheriff’s department, at a cost in excess of one thousand dollars per day.
In May 2012, Goodman was sentenced to sixteen years in prison. He must serve a minimum of four years of the sentence if he does not win his appeal.
Original Article: articles.sun-sentinel.com