Four months ago a 48-year-old Palm Beach multi-millionaire, polo club founder and air-conditioning mogul named John Goodman decided to share his wealth and good fortune by adopting. This would have been an admirable act, if it wasn’t a ploy to keep his millions intact and the adoptee wasn’t his 42-year-old girlfriend, Heather Laruso Hutchins.
While this adoption seems bizarre, it is perfectly legal and they can even continue their sexual relationship because in Florida the incest statute does not mention sex with adopted relatives, only “relatives of lineal consanguinity,” or blood relatives.
Last February, Goodman allegedly ran a stop sign, which caused his Bentley to knock a 23-year-old named Scott Wilson and his car into a drainage ditch where Wilson then drowned. Goodman’s alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, but what’s worse, he fled the scene.
Along with the criminal charges Goodman is facing, Wilson’s parents Lili and William Wilson, filed a wrongful death suit against him. Both trials are set for March and could potentially bankrupt Goodman.
Luckily, Goodman’s two biological children’s fortune will remain untouched no matter what the outcome may be. According to Goodman’s attorney, Daniel Bachi, he set up a trust for them in 1991 that is now worth “several hundred million dollars.” On the not so lucky side, the money won’t be disbursed until they are 35.
Good thing Goodman doesn’t prefer to date women in their 20s or else he would probably never see any of that money – his biological children are still in their teens. Hutchins, however, is over the age of 35, and is now entitled to one third of the trust assets, which she will most likely share with her father/boyfriend. Unless of course she realizes that she can get his millions and then just walk away from the relationship while he’s spending his long vacation in jail.
Bachi said that the adoption was actually his idea and insists that it was just to assure the stability of investment and that it has nothing to do with the lawsuit pending against Goodman.
“Everything that has been done by Mr. Goodman was done with the intention to preserve and grow the assets of the Trust for his two minor children,” said Bachi, “even should he personally be unable to continue his historical role in achieving these goals.”
But his children don’t seem to see it that way, considering they are now suing him as well. Their mother and guardian claims that Goodman kept the October adoption a secret from them until after Christmas and failed to mention the lawsuit Lili and William Wilson filed against him to the judge overseeing the adoption proceedings.
Only time can tell Goodman’s fate. But from the looks of it, he is in serious trouble no matter what happens. The parents of the man he killed are suing him, his own children are suing him and the charges for driving under the influence, manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident could earn him up to 30 years in prison.
At least he doesn’t have to worry about getting charged with incest.