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Fri, 3 Feb 2012 - 13:59 GMT +1
John Goodman, Troubled Millionaire, Legally Adopts Girlfriend to Protect Assets in Wrongful Death Case

This is a new one. John Goodman, a South Florida millionaire, legally adopted his girlfriend Heather Laruso Hutchins recently (he''s 48, she''s 42). Why?

Likely because he faces a devastating civil on DUI manslaughter charges, and his unusual legal move may be a means of protecting his assets legally.

John Goodman was involved in a fatal car accident in Palm Beach, Fla., in February 2010 that led to the death of 23-year-old student Scott Wilson.

He could face a long prison term, but it''s his weird financial maneuver that caught media attention, following his adoption of girlfriend Heather Hutchins.

John Goodman Mug Shot

On March 6, he will be tried for DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, after he allegedly ran a stop sign and crashed his Bentley into Wilson''s vehicle.

He then fled the scene on foot as Wilson''s car submerged in a nearby canal.

The millionaire did not call 911 for an hour, during which time Scott drowned. Many believe he could have been saved if emergency services arrived sooner.

It was later determined that Goodman’s BAC was twice the legal alcohol limit, and if convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison for the crime.

In case you were curious, because there is no blood relation between the two, Goodman can both sleep with and marry his new adopted "daughter."

“There is no incest. If there was it would be illegal, now it is just disgusting; they are allowed to sleep together and can get married," said an attorney.

“It does not change their personal relationship.”

By way of this adoption, John Goodman has effectively gained ownership or control of at least one third of his assets, according to legal experts.

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