Sentencing/Post-Conviction

Federal judge nixes 551-pound man's plea to end house arrest early due to his weight


A federal judge in Florida lost little time in nixing a 551-pound pharmacist’s argument that his 30-month house-arrest sentence in a pill mill case should end early because his weight prevents him from leaving home anyway.

Attorney Edward Page of Tampa also argued that his client, John Goodman, 70, wanted to attempt to visit friends and family in Ohio to say goodbye during what is expected to be his last year of life, due to multiple health issues, reports the Sun Sentinel.

In a Monday order, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra pointed out that Goodman already avoided prison because of his weight, “not as a favor to him, but in order to spare the Bureau of Prisons the burden of having to care for him.”

The judge also noted, “If defendant’s health and obesity ‘effectively confines him to his home,’ then continuation of that restriction will not adversely affect him.”

Goodman was sentenced in August 2012 after pleading guilty to a single count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government. The case is linked to a massive “pill mill” prosecution that sent twin brothers in charge of operating several South Florida pain clinics to prison for well over a decade.

A psychiatrist testified at sentencing that he was stunned to learn that prison wouldn’t be a godsend to Goodman by forcing him to diet, reports the Palm Beach Post.

“I found it somewhat astonishing, but I was told he’s going to get as much as he wants to eat in a prison setting,” Dr. Michael Maher told the court, explaining that Goodman could get unlimited portions at meals and obtain food from other inmates.

An earlier FBI press release provides additional details about the case.

See also:

Bloomberg Businessweek: “American Pain: The Largest U.S. Pill Mill’s Rise and Fall”

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