Goff sentenced to prison

John Goff after hearing the sentence.
John Goff after hearing the sentence.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A former Montgomery insurance executive who was convicted of mail fraud, embezzlement and filing a false report with the state insurance department four months ago learned his fate Tuesday afternoon. He'll spend the next 12 years in prison.

At one time John Goff was the prominent owner of a company that handled workers' compensation insurance. The prominence faded, however, as the government began claiming he took money from clients for coverage but never sent it to insurance companies.

His headquarters was located just off Interstate 85 until five years ago. His empire fell when a jury found him guilty of taking money from clients like churches, businesses, and other organizations. The money never made it to the insurance companies it was intended to.

He still says he's the victim in this case, however.

Court papers indicate Goff used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle. He made a salary of  more than $1 million, flew around in a private jet, slept in a million dollar home and belonged to an exclusive country club. Now, Goff says he's broke and doesn't know how he'll pay it back.

"I can't," Goff said. "They're asking at least $200 a month. Well, I don't know. Maybe I need to go and play the Florida lottery. That's the only way I can do it. I can't pay it."

When asked how his mental health was the embattled convict said it was "weak". "I'm just shocked by the whole thing," he added. "I'm sure [Governor] Bob Riley is pretty happy today."

What does the governor have to do with this? Goff claims Riley was out to get him after he filed a lawsuit again the governor for extortion. He added that he had attorneys in three different states and he did what they advised him to do.

For now Goff is a free man. That is until July 31, 2009 at 2:00pm when he must surrender to prison. Until then he must wear a court-ordered GPS monitoring device.

There is an appeal plan in place. Federal Judge Myron Thompson said he thought several of the convictions might be reversible.