A Newark, N.J. conman was not about to change his story. Instead he decided to try, try, try just a little bit harder.
Over the course of seven months, Robert Goodwin, 49, provided a total of 11 false statements asserting that his girlfriend’s SUV had been stolen and torched.
Unfortunately his efforts were for naught, as a jury of Goodwin’s peers found him guilty of insurance fraud on Aug. 23. Of course, the theatrics didn’t end there. As the jury read the verdict, Goodwin collapsed onto the in the Essex County courtroom floor and was immediately hauled to a local hospital.
The controversy began in 2009 when Goodwin told insurance investigators that his then-girlfriend’s 1999 Chevy Tahoe had been stolen and set afire. The story seemed implausible at first blush, according to an assistant prosecutor who tried the case, because the SUV was equipped with an anti-theft device that makes “stealing the vehicle virtually impossible.”
Aside from this red flag, Goodwin had a checkered past, which included a whopping 15 prior burglary and drug convictions. In 2010, he finally admitted to the insurer that his statements were false. At the trial, one of Goodwin’s girlfriend’s testified that he told her the SUV had been stolen, while another girlfriend testified she was with him when the theft occurred at 3 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2009.
Although the court ultimately acquitted Goodwin of arson and attempted theft charges, he nevertheless faces up to 20 years in prison for the insurance fraud conviction. Currently there is no update about his physical condition following the courtroom incident, though one thing is probable: Goodwin could face more drama from his many women.
Sentencing has been slated for October.