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Former state Rep. Robert Goforth pleads guilty to money laundering, fraud

Rep. Robert Goforth
Courtesy LRC Public Information
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FRANKFORT, March 20 -- Rep. Robert Goforth, R-East Bernstadt, comments on Senate Bill 5, a bill relating to pharmacy benefits in the Medicaid program, in the House.

Former Republican lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate Robert Goforth pled guilty to federal money laundering and fraud charges on Wednesday.

Goforth’s Hometown Pharmacy in Clay County billed insurance companies over $2.7 million in excess for prescriptions that were never picked up, which would then be sold later. Goforth owns several pharmacies in southeastern Kentucky.

According to court records, about $1.4 million of overbilling took place after Goforth was aware of the issue but he “intentionally  took steps to avoid actual knowledge of the extent of the fraud.”

Goforth will be sentenced later this year. He could face up to ten years in prison for the charges and would have to pay up to $3 million in restitution.

He was first elected during a special election in 2018 to represent the 89th House district, which includes Jackson County and parts of Laurel and Madison counties.

Goforth was charged with felony assault and strangulation in 2020 after his wife alleged he hog-tied her and threatened to kill her in front of their children at their home in East Bernstadt.

Hemanaged to win reelection in the midst of the allegations, but ultimately resigned from the seat.

Goforth also unsuccessfully challenged then-Gov. Matt Bevin during the 2019 Republican primary election for governor. 

Divya is Kentucky Public Radio's Capitol Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.