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HOUSTON The criminal trial began Tuesday for a Houston millionaire who adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend in a bid to protect part of his fortune from a lawsuit after a fatal hit-and-run accident in Florida.

John Goodman, 47, is charged in connection with the crash, which happened two years ago.

According to police, he was drunk when he crashed his Bentley into a Hyundai Sonata in West Palm Beach, Fla., pushing the Sonata into a canal and killing 23-year-old Scott Wilson.

The Wilson family sued Goodman in civil court after the crash, and if he loses, he could be forced to pay them a lot of money.

That s when Goodman adopted his adult girlfriend, making her entitled to a piece of the $300 million trust fund that was established in 1991 for Goodman s biological children.

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