Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Corruption

Montgomery attorney J.W. Godwin convicted on financial exploitation of the elderly

The attorney failed to pay property taxes for his client, resulting in the client’s home being permanently lost.

(STOCK)
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Montgomery attorney J.W. Godwin has been convicted and sentenced on one count of financial exploitation of the elderly according to a release from Attorney General Steve Marshall.

The charge results from Godwin’s misuse of his position as a guardian and conservator for an elderly military veteran in need of immediate and long-term care.

Agents from the attorney general’s office arrested Godwin Monday, and he immediately plead guilty to the charge.

Godwin is a longtime associate of former attorney general Troy King. 

The attorney general’s office opened an investigation into Godwin’s conduct in June 2022 after receiving information from a local bank that identified suspicious transactions from the victim’s accounts. That investigation revealed that Godwin was court-appointed in 2018 to represent an elderly military veteran in need of emergency protective services who had no family to care for him.

As part of Godwin’s plea agreement, he admitted that he recklessly breached his fiduciary duty to his client by failing to pay property taxes on his home. Godwin’s breach led to the veteran’s property being sold to a third party at a tax sale. Godwin further breached his duty by recklessly failing to redeem that property within the statutory time period of three years. Because of his failure to reclaim the property, the home was permanently lost.

Godwin agreed in the plea deal to pay $345,000 in restitution to the victim (the value of the home Godwin lost in the tax sale); to permanently surrender his license with the Alabama State Bar; to disclaim any and all bequests, interests, inheritances, and duties from any and all last wills and testaments of the victim; and to pay all other court costs and fees. In exchange for Godwin’s immediate cooperation, the State agreed to not bring any additional charges related to Godwin’s service as a guardian and conservator.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Steve Marshall recused himself from the case due to Godwin’s association with Troy King. Acting Attorney General Jill Lee thanked the attorneys and investigators of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Special Prosecutions Division of the Attorney General’s Office for their work on the case.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

More from APR

State

Alabama is working towards adding an adult foster care home in every county as reports of adult abuse rise in the state.

President

A 12-member jury of Trump's peers in New York found him guilty of falsifying business records.

Courts

The state argues that the 11th Circuit reversal of the injunction on the law reinforces the state's right to enforce its law.

Courts

The judge also lifted a deadline to produce a document, after previously requiring attorney to hand it over or face potential jailing.