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Attorney convicted for exploitation of elderly veteran

A Montgomery attorney has been convicted and sentenced for financial exploitation of the elderly, according to an announcement Monday by the Attorney General’s Office.

John Warren “J.W.” Godwin, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of the Class B felony resulting from the misuse of his position as a guardian and conservator for an elderly military veteran in need of immediate and long-term care.

The Attorney General’s Office said it opened an investigation into Godwin’s conduct last June after receiving information from a bank about suspicious transactions from the victim’s accounts.

Godwin’s plea requires he pay $345,000 in restitution to the victim, which is the value of the home he lost in the tax sale. He’ll also permanently surrender his license to practice law and forfeit any duties he had as a guardian and conservator.

Jill Lee, acting AG in the case, thanked the attorneys and investigators of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Special Prosecutions Division of the Attorney General’s Office for their work on the case.

Attorney General Steve Marshall recused himself from this case early in the investigation due to Godwin’s business association with former Attorney General Troy King. Godwin was Troy King’s law partner and top aide.

Financial exploitation of the elderly is a growing concern across the country, the office said. The Attorney General’s Office encourages anyone who suspects an elderly person is being abused, neglected, or exploited to report it immediately to the proper authorities.

RELATED: Victim Assistance (Alabama Attorney General’s Office)

Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270 for coverage of the 2023 legislative session.

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