Convicted polo magnate John Goodman will be sitting in a jail cell for the next 16 years after having been found guilty of DUI manslaughter last October in the 2010 death of 23-year-old Scott Wilson. It took two trials to get Goodman to pay for his crime, but he may have very well walked free had a Vermont con man gotten away with a scheme to throw the jury during Goodman's second trial.
James Perron, 49, of Tinmouth, Vermont, was arrested last year after he came up with a plan to extort at least half a million dollars from Goodman in exchange for throwing the trial. And now, according the Sun-Sentinel, Perron is expected to plead guilty to federal fraud charges.
Perron allegedly texted trial witness - and Goodman confidant — Kris Kampsen saying he'd be willing to sway the jury in exchange for $500,000. Perron then upped the offer to $1 million if he was able to orchestrate an acquittal for Goodman. Perron claimed that he knew someone who could help somehow infiltrate the jury and sway it to get Goodman freed.
According to authorities, Perron texted Kampsen, who had played on Goodman's polo team and is owner of the infamous "man cave" to which Goodman fled and drank after he crashed and killed Wilson.
"I have a message from a family member that could help your friend. I don't need to explain," one of Perron's text messages to Kampsen read.
Kampsen, a witness for the defense in Goodman's case, reported the texts to the FBI. The FBI looked into the texts and eventually interviewed the jurors and determined that none of them was related to or knew Perron. In essence, Perron was trying to get his 500 grand and disappear without delivering on his promises.
Perron was eventually pinched in an FBI sting operation in Albany, New York on October 25 and indicted November 20, and has been held in the Palm Beach County Jail without bond since on three wire fraud charges. A judge ruled that the con man would not be freed on bond because Perron was deemed a flight risk.
Goodman was, of course, eventually found guilty by the jury and was sentenced to 16 years.
Perron has an extensive rap sheet. He was convicted of attempted murder, rape, and sodomy in 1989 in Vermont.
In 2014, Perron was busted trying to scam $50,000 from a elderly couple for whom he worked as a handyman and general contractor in New York. He's facing a grand larceny charge.