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Attempt by Polo Mogul John Goodman to Adopt Girlfriend Denied
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An attempt by Wellington polo mogul John Goodman to adopt his 42-year-old girlfriend has been dismissed by an appellate court. In the ruling, the judges found that Goodman committed a “fraud upon the court.” One of the senior judges called Goodman’s actions “reprehensible,” according to The Palm Beach Post.

In September of 2011, a circuit judge from Miami-Dade decided to finalize the adoption of Goodman’s girlfriend Heather Anne Hutchins. Goodman was fighting criminal charges in the death of Scott Wilson, a dispute in Delaware over the management of a trust fund, and a wrongful death suit filed by Wilson’s family when this occurred.

  
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Goodman wanted to adopt his girlfriend so she could have access to $5 million from the trust immediately and then future payouts of close to $12 million. Right now, Goodman is fighting a DUI manslaughter conviction and a 16-year prison sentence. The ruling on Wednesday from the 3rd District Court of Appeals said that Goodman knowingly kept the adoption news from his ex-wife and the Wilson family until January of 2012, which is when they could no longer contest it.

The action was described as fraud by the appeals panel and Senior Judge Alan R. Schwartz criticized Goodman in the concurring opinion.

“Even if the motivation and the means for securing it were not so reprehensible, I believe…the adoption of a paramour is so contrary to the beneficent purposes of such an action that no such judgment can ever be sustained,” Schwartz wrote.

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The civil attorney for Wilson’s father William, Scott Smith, said, “I think it validated what Mr. and Mrs. Wilson felt when they heard about the adoption last year. They could have just said they had cause to vacate the adoption and left it at that, but to call it deliberate and to use words like fraud — I think it says a lot.”

Hutchins will not have access to the trust as a result of the ruling from the appellate court.





 

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