by Brian Mahany
Who says creativity and ingenuity are dead? Don’t tell John Goodman of Palm Beach, Florida. In what has to be one of the most bizarre and brazen attempts to avoid creditors, Goodman adopted his 42 year old girlfriend making her his daughter. Why? Ah, that’s the best part of the story.
While some might initially think that Goodman and his daughter are just freaks, Goodman is accused of running a stop sign in 2010 and killing a young man. The man’s estate sued Goodman for the crash.
According to published reports, Goodman already had a trust created prior to the crash. (Trusts and other asset protection moves after a crash, lawsuit or claim are often considered fraudulent conveyances and usually void.) The trust was set up to protect and preserve assets for Goodman’s children. Lawyers argue that by adopting his 42 year old girlfriend, she gets control of the assets and he can effectively enjoy them while leaving his creditors with nothing.
The entire mess is now before a Florida circuit court judge. According to a story in the Palm Beach Sun Sentinel, Judge Glenn Kelley said this, “The Court cannot ignore reality or the practical impact of what Mr. Goodman has now done. The Defendant has effectively diverted a significant portion of the assets of the children’s trust to a person with whom he is intimately involved at a time when his personal assets are largely at risk in this case.”
Hopefully the court will make quick work of this blatant attempt to defraud creditors. We are interested to know if he had some help from a lawyer in this hairbrained scheme too.
While the family of the young man has much at stake in this case, the end result may mean little to Goodman. Prosecutors say he was drunk at the time of the crash. According to published reports he is facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted for vehicular manslaughter.
Acceptance of responsibility is weighed heavily by judges at sentencing – trying to defraud the young victim’s family of any compensation will likely not meet with approval.
If you are the victim of fraud, let us help you get your money back. Many lawyers can litigate a fraud case but few have specialized asset recovery skills. Our fraud lawyers have helped many people recover their hard earned money. For more information contact attorney Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731 (direct) or by email at
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine & Minneapolis, Minnesota. Services available in many other locations.